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Inexpensive marketing tools can be a great way to increase your business’s profile and grow sales. So here are some fantastic marketing initiatives that won’t break the bank.
The first step to the marketing process is research and there is a whole host of cheap and free data small business can access to help guide marketing initiatives. The Australian Bureau of Statistics website has great free data about almost every industry sector. Another good source of data is industry associations. Most have access to up-to-date information about their industry sector that members get access to for free or a nominal fee. A third source is the internet. Use search engines to gather information about new and emerging trends in your industry sector.
Similarly, there are many reasonably priced marketing initiatives small businesses can access. These include:
#1. Face to face marketing
This works particularly well if you have a retails tore. Train staff to use every sale as an opportunity to promote new products and services by encouraging them to tell customers about new initiatives in the business. Enterprises without a retail presence can also use a similar technique by talking to clients about new initiatives in their day-to-day dealings with them.
#2. Direct mail marketing
Although it might seem old fashioned, distributing leaflets through snail mail is a very cheap marketing tool. Australia Post offers generous discounts on bulk mail and will deliver to postcodes you specify. Have some fliers printed and send them through the post and you have one very cost effective marketing tool. Given many businesses have shunned this tool in favour of the electronic equivalent, marketing distributed by post attracts attention because it’s different.
#3. Accept speaking engagements
Giving an address at an industry conference or participating in a panel discussion is a very inexpensive way to raise your business’s profile. Make sure you have some thought provoking content in your address and you’ll attract the attention and admiration of everyone who attends the conference. If you are not approached to participate there’s nothing wrong with approaching the conference organiser yourself to make a case for giving a presentation. But make sure your address focuses on a topic of interest to your audience rather than simply delivering a sales spiel. Conferences are about sharing new information, rather than being a vehicle for a sales pitch.
#4. Industry insights
Conduct quick surveys of your target audience and release the findings to the media and your customer base. This will help position you as someone with your finger on the industry’s pulse.
#5. Publicity and media releases
Using publicity as a marketing technique is a great free way to generate a higher profile for your business. Writing a media release and distributing it to journalists and editors that cover your industry sector is a great way to develop a public profile. Again, make sure these media releases touch on a newsworthy topic rather than merely being a sales pitch. Journalists are interested in real news, not product launches. Good topics for media releases include commentary on key industry trends, your thoughts on new legislation or regulations affecting your industry, as well as new research.
#6. Collect client testimonials
As soon as you have finished a successful project with a client ask them to write a testimonial or reference about your work. You can even develop a questionnaire including questions like ‘what’s the best thing about working with us?’ or ‘how does our service compare to our competitors?’ to help guide clients in their testimonials.
As with every marketing technique you use, it’s important to measure how successful these tools are so that you only focus on the tools that are working for you. There are lots of inexpensive ways you can measure the success of your marketing initiatives. Ask all new clients to indicate how they came into contact with your firm. Collect and collate this information so you know what’s working and what’s not. Another idea is to conduct regular focus groups, giving participants discounts on your product range as consideration rather than paying them.
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