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Thursday, February 7, 2013

How To Market Your Small Business On A Budget

Cost-effective marketing is definitely one of the numerous challenges that businesses encounter. Developing a solid marketing plan is a must for effective marketing.

With the rise of inbound marketing as a result of internet boom, continuous customer engagement is becoming a very cost-effective marketing strategy to retain customers and also attract future prospects. Effective inbound marketing approaches like content marketing, using blogs, infographics, e-newsletters, e-blasts, vlogs, podcasts, e-books, whitepapers, toolkits and social media help in retaining customer interest by engaging them actively through conversations between your company and the consumer, as well as boost the company’s presence in search engines.

Over the years, social media has become an increasingly popular way to generate long term website traffic and is an essential component in lead generation.

Building a quality, professionally designed, engaging and user-friendly company website is a great tool for cost-effective marketing and brand enhancement. Developing good, original content for SEO help in ranking higher in the search engines.

Referral marketing is another viable marketing option. In general, customers are more inclined towards products/services referred by family, friends or acquaintances.

With the rapid increase in mobile users, mobile marketing is becoming an instant, easy way to connect with prospective customers.

Capitalizing on your drive-by and walk-by traffic is the absolute most effective means of focusing in on what is known as direct marketing. When you stop and count the hundreds to thousands of vehicles or people who drive or walk by your business or event, it’s amazing how much business opportunity is lost by not capturing their attention.

There are many different products that will attract attention to a business or event. Utilizing different types of products that will get the message across to those who drive or walk by your business is really very easy to accomplish.

Even with many city and county restrictions on "marketing" that are becoming the new norm for many communities, there are many products and methods of using them that will be approved and pass those ordinances that are restrictive. In order to capitalize on those that are passing either by your business or event effectively, you first need to first identify what your clients are telling you they didn’t know you had as a product or service available. After this is determined, then it’s time to decide which product and how to use that product effectively. This runs the gamut from signage, displays, audio messaging, color/layout schemes, etc. Whatever grabs te attention of "people traffic" (car, foot, bike) around our business.

You should generally organize your approach to marketing around the following strategy ....


What does your research indicate is the trend in your field? Will it stay the way you are currently offering supplies and services or will it change? This item covers the developments you expect for the next few years. Evan a 'perfect' business can become obsolete overnight due to future developments. Specify a 5 year forecast of your field in your area.


How does your business differ from the competition's strong and weak points. Again, remember to carefully look at your business from the customer's perspective. If you're not sure how your pricing policies compare to the competition, here are some guidelines. Most people associate high prices with high quality and extra service, while they associate low prices with low or average quality and minimum service. Make sure you provide extra quality and service if your prices are higher than your competition or make sure that your prices are lower if your quality is average and your service is minimum.


Once you describe your target customer, it's easier to create a list of possible ways to reach that person. One of your jobs as a businessperson is to decide which of all the possible methods of communication will give you the most exposure for the least cost in money or time.

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