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Marketing, it’s one of the driving forces of the modern world. We are surrounded by it every waking moment of every day. Everywhere we go and everything we do, there is someone marketing to us. The world wide advertising industry accounts for 100’s of billions of dollars spent by businesses to get their name in peoples minds. How can you as small business compete with that kind of spending? The other side of the coin is, because people are bombarded by so much marketing every day, we have all built an ‘immunity’ to it. Unless it’s something we need right now, we ignore it and get on with what matters to us. So this raises the question of how do we as a small business get noticed by people. Like it says in the title I’m going to give you five simple ways to raise your business profile by advertising without “advertising” (in the traditional sense.)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your business card is your first foot in the door when it comes to marketing yourself. It has to embody what you are and what you offer the client. What you may not realise is that it can be a powerful tool to make that first sale. Drive people to your website where they can see testimonials from happy clients and learn more about you and your business. Turn it into a useful tool for them to hold on to and keep your name in their mind; for example a client of ours sells specialised cleaning products and his business card includes a easy to use dilution chart. Even turning it into a mini-flyer is is an effective way of boosting your profile. On the back of my card I have a promotional offer of 10% off any new client’s business card order.
Not only are gift vouchers money in your hands before any stock leaves your business, it’s also the best word of mouth marketing there is because it’s one person recommending your business to another. Look at my articles that talk about gift vouchers in more detail to learn more about what they can do for you. I’ve lost count of the number of coffee loyalty cards I’ve got in my wallet at the moment. It can take some time for me get enough clicks to get the reward, but I’ll still do it in the end. It doesn’t have to be coffee either, a common one is get a click for x number of dollars spent and cash it in for a discount on anything. These sort of cards a cheap to print and manage, can be structured to get you the maximum spend for the reward you give away, and will keep promoting you for weeks or months after the first sale where you gave out the card. Another powerful tool is the ‘friend deal’ where a client you already have brings in someone new to try a service so they get a discount. This brings people into your business where you can get them hooked.
Now a lot of people think that a give away price list is a waste of money because people take them away then throw them out days later. It can be expensive to list everything if you have a large product range, and may have to repeatedly reprint them as your ranges change. This is a mistake, because they can be a powerful sales generating tool. Firstly we can print them at very low cost if you need to have everything listed by smart editing of the document and using black only printing. Secondly if you need more wow, then just pick the best selling examples from each product category and put it in a smaller simpler document where you can afford the big colourful designs. Finally you should always include some sort of promotion device that encourages them to hold on to it, ie a takeaway bar might have ‘Bring in this menu to get one side free with any order over $50.’
A lot of people don’t realise how effective it is to put a little bit of marketing on your packaging. The classic example of it is McDonalds. Every bit of of their packaging, from the cheeseburger wrappers to the brown paper bags they are put in doesn’t just carry their branding it’s also a message about the products they sell and their ethos. Of course they a global company so they can afford to get packaging custom made to do that, but it doesn’t mean that a small high street shop can’t do the same. We can print low cost stickers that can be used to seal bags and boxes, design paper wrap strips that can go around odd shaped products or clear boxes. Even something as simple as a branded price tag will help to raise your marketing profile.
Another one of my rules when it comes to marketing is ‘That no piece of paper should escape your business without your branding.’ Why, because you don’t know where it might end up. People tend to pass stuff around and it’s silly not to have the source of it marked on it so the new person knows where they can get the stuff from. Naturally you want every receipt, quote, letter, compliment slip and memo to have your name and at least some of your contact details. Even if it’s marketing material made by another company, you still want to use a sticker or rubber stamp with your company details on it so the people who took the material are reminded where they got it from.
Are these the only ways you can advertising your company without advertising, heck no. If you want to learn more you should book a time with me at Copy Express so we can discuss a marketing plan that will suit your needs and budget.