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Try These Low-Cost Marketing Ideas to Give Your Business a Kickstart

Low-cost marketing ideas2The number one complaint from many small business owners is the high cost of marketing. Most state emphatically that they just can’t afford to spend princely sums for ads that may not work or direct marketing that may generate very low response rates. Marketing is the gas that helps your business run. Without it, potential customers may not know you exist or at the very least, they may have no idea how to find your business.


While you cannot eliminate marketing if you want to stay in business, there are ways to cut the cost of your marketing to make it more effective.


Here are 10 low-cost marketing ideas you way want to consider:


  1. Target the customer most likely to buy your product. Don’t waste your money by advertising on mass media that targets anyone who is reading or watching. There are too many ways these days to identify media that target your ideal customer - you know the ones I am talking about - they are the 20 percent of your customers that make up 80 percent of your profits. Learn as much about them as you can and focus your marketing budget on them.
  2. Focus your marketing on your prospects not your company. Too many small businesses create marketing materials that are all about them. Anyone who reads these materials will quickly throw them away or ask, “What’s in it for me?” Don’t put your prospects in that position. Make sure your marketing messages are full of the benefits you will deliver to them if they buy your product. Need more information, check out: How to Promote a Product.
  3. Use more than one-step to turn strangers into prospects. A lot of small companies use their meager marketing budgets on advertising that takes time to work, but they’ll only run it once or twice. Most people need to see your message a number of times before they are ready to act, so concentrate on strategies that let them gradually get to know your business.
  4. Develop a relationship with your prospects before you try to make them customers. Build trust by giving something a way like a newsletter, free tips or other information about your product or service tied to their needs. Need help creating a newsletter, take a look at How to Write a Newsletter.
  5. Develop a compelling offer. Focus on what your product will do for the customer. Always stress the benefits, not the features. Include a call to action to tell the prospect what to do next. Include a sense of urgency or encourage them to act with in a limited time-frame.
  6. Promote your product or service in a variety of ways; don’t just rely on one strategy. If money is in short supply, try sending press releases, write articles, or volunteer to speak. You also should ask current customers for a referral, start a website and build a list. The website may cost you money, but it will open up many lower cost ways for you provide information to prospects about your products and services.
  7. Get the word out in other ways too. You can join industry associations where you can network with prospects or sponsor a sports team in the community where your business is located. Get your company name and product or service on something that people will keep and create a giveaway with another company if you can not afford it alone.
  8. Offer great customer service. One of best ways to create buzz is to wow your customers and turn them into ambassadors for your business. You can also take the risk out of doing business with you by providing guarantees.
  9. Follow-up. Many small business owners do all the right things, but fail to follow-up. Develop opportunities to stay in touch with your customers. Call them to see how they are doing without mentioning your product. Drop them a note or send them an article that relates to an issue they are facing. Do anything you can to get them to see you as a resource.
  10. Track the response to your marketing so you can do more of what is working and eliminate measures that don’t bring a good return on your investment. Set up benchmarks so that you can measure every marketing method you use. Test your marketing materials to determine if they are effective.


By using at least some of these low-cost marketing ideas, you will be less likely to give up on marketing. Remember that without gas, your business won't go very far. Need help implementing the 10 ideas mentionned above, why not contact Ming Communications, our marketing communications consulting firm.

Marcia Ming


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