Saturday, April 4, 2009
10 Ways To Kick Start Your Marketing
"Blow Your Own Horn"
Last week three members contacted me with the same question asked in three different ways. I thought it would be useful to share the general response.
Here is what you can do to get started.
1. If you are marketing only online, start using offline channels. That includes sending postcards, printed letters, flyers, newsletters, and catalogs by regular "snail mail."
2. If you don't have an Internet presence, it's time to get one. You can start by placing an ad on Google - so when people search for keywords related to your product or service, your ad will be displayed.
3. Start thinking of "online" and "offline" as two different yet complementary marketing channels. Realize that both should be part of your overall marketing strategy. We know from experience that marketing through multiple channels is the most effective way to build a business.
For example, you could send a postcard or letter informing prospects to watch for a special e-mail you will send on a specific date. Or you could send an e-mail telling them to watch for a special letter you will mail to them in the next week. Change the channel because you are still in charge.
4. Pick up the phone. It's easy to sit behind a computer and fire off e-mails. But in an ever-more-disconnected world, people appreciate personal touches. Call your best customers to thank them. Check to make sure that they are getting the most out of their product or service, and take that opportunity to inform them about other products or services you offer.
5. Upsell. The moment someone places an order... that's when they are most likely to make another purchase. You can take advantage of this by offering items related to what they just bought.
For example, offer a notebook to everyone who buys a pen from you, a multi-vitamin to everyone who buys an herbal supplement from you, an e-book to everyone who subscribes to your investment service. (You get the idea.) Doing this can greatly increase your average sale or transaction value.
6. Start e-mail marketing. Create a free report with useful information that will attract potential customers. For example, if you sell bathroom fixtures, offer a free report about planning a bathroom renovation or how to give a bathroom a Victorian look. Anything to give you a reason to start a new sales dialog with people. Offer a free report on your website and use an autoreply service - such as one you can get from http://tinyurl.com/8r9tnx - to send out the report automatically.
7. Buy remnant advertising space. If you want to increase your marketing activities without increasing your advertising spending, you need to start buying remnant space. Most newspapers and magazines have unsold space that they have to sell before they can go to print. You can get a 20 percent, 50 percent, even a 95 percent discount on this "last-minute" space and save yourself a fortune. You may have some trouble getting the Express and Guardian to do it but you can try it with the weeklies. Just call and tell them that if they are getting close to deadline and have not sold all their space to give you a call and you will purchase it at a discount. Worked for me with one weekly, try it will not hurt.
8. Turn every transaction into a marketing opportunity. When the Kentucky offered to provide trash bins to the City of Port of Spain part of the agreement was to advertise their brand. That advertising cost is really the cost of the bins and they will be there for years. How could you do that in your business? Could you print product info on your invoices - or include a flyer about a special offer in the envelope?
9. Test your prices. When sales are slow, business owners often think that offering discounts the best strategy. But it may not be. The only way to know for sure is to test the price of your wares. You may even find that by bundling products and services together - and throwing in a few free reports - you could end up selling the entire package for more than you got by selling those items individually. There is also something to be said of integrity when you are able to slash your prices by 50 and 60 percent the day after a holiday.
10. Offer free workshops and classes. There's nothing quite like meeting customers and prospects in person. It helps you forge strong relationships and increase your chances of future sales. One way to do this is to offer free workshops and classes. Going back to one of my earlier examples... if you sell bathroom fixtures, you could have free tiling workshops or classes on how to do simple plumbing repairs. And you would not only provide attendees with practical information, you would also give advice and refer to the products and services you sell.
Marketing is full of opportunity. What you do with that opportunity is up to you. There's never been a better time to test and try new ideas and new angles - never a better time to "Get out there and blow your own horn."
QUICK VIDEO MARKETING TIP
An age old idea that is picking up in a "down economy" Bartering Your Business
As Always, be well.