D I A N A S M I T H
Although it is debatable whether the typical means of promotion should still have a place in the modern world of business, one thing is for certain: the old ways are very expensive. While a well-established company may or may not benefit from TV commercials and billboards, a business in its infancy probably won’t be able to afford even considering these as an option. This being said, marketing will always play a major role in running a business – from its inception to its maturity and beyond; and the modern world has given us many unique opportunities to excel at getting our names out there without breaking the bank.
1. Use clients for your marketing.
You depend on your customers in many respects: first and foremost, they are the very essence of your business. Secondly, nothing beats a satisfied customer. Sure, your main goal might be receiving money for a product/service that you offer, but the transaction doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) end here. Your customers will always spread the word about you, whether you like it or not; and the famous word-of-mouth is among the most powerful forms of marketing out there. Just as a satisfied customer will always speak highly of you, a dissatisfied one will definitely have an axe or two to grind. This is why it’s so important to impress your customers, and why those who feel a genuine need to bring something of quality to the market are the ones who are the most successful. Your clients are your default marketing strategy.
2. Social media.
Ten years ago, we all used to watch TV and roll our eyes at commercials. Nowadays, things are a bit different; first of all, the then-main pastime medium that is television has given way to social media websites. Second of all, while TV ads were glorified ways to generate more leads, social media advertising now aims at pitching your product to the customer that might actually be interested. This is called target advertising and it is not at all morally ambiguous – it helps bring the business and the consumer together into a mutually beneficial relationship! Unlike TV commercials, social media ads don’t turn the potential customer away.
3. Giveaways and rewards
Giveaways are actually an extremely powerful asset at the entrepreneur’s disposal. Quite simply, they will always generate more leads, and this is marketing 101 – if you are talked about, you’re famous, if you’re famous, you did an excellent job at promotion. Giveaways can incorporate everything from stressballs, pen sets, to stuff like cool personalized umbrellas, and a variety of promotional material.
On the other hand, rewards are generally much more expensive, and are based on a spirit of competition. These include valuable products that you or your affiliates make, free subscriptions, etc.
In any case, both giveaways and rewards are low-cost investments that will result in your business generating leads.
4. Always be networking
The true spirit of entrepreneurship equals a constant state of networking. Now, this doesn’t mean constantly trying to pitch your product to people. No, networking entails the noble cause of connecting the people you know or are in contact with to each other. How does this help you? Well, a true entrepreneur enjoys expanding their friendships and contacts, and, as a rule of thumb, this is always returned in kind. Market research is an integral part of networking – in order to connect people, you need to do your homework first.
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Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive; in fact, at the very beginning, some of these ways will help you get going for free. We live in a brave new world, where expensive TV and billboard commercials are potentially less profitable than these cheaper ways of getting your name out there. Your customers, your online presence, giveaways and rewards and your networking skills are the pillars of your business’ marketing success.