Squeezing Every Last Cent From Your Marketing Budget
Since hiring a high-powered public relations firm is not in the cards for most business owners, coming up with creative ways to market on a budget is an essential part of any business plan. Your marketing efforts will grease the wheels of your business and get it moving in the right direction. Don't be intimidated by the hype surrounding the extravagant advertising budgets during the Super Bowl. Not everyone needs to spend millions for a thirty second ad. There are plenty of cheap and effective ways to get your name out there and get your products in the hands of customers.
Don't Let Your Marketing Efforts Fall on Deaf Ears
Quantity is not quality in the marketing world. Believe it or not, sending out advertisements to everyone in the United States is not a cost effective way to spend your marketing dollars. It is a waste of your time and money to advertise to people you know won't be interested in your product.
Why would a dating service targeting 20-35 year olds living in the Pacific Northwest send a promotional coupon to a ninety-eight year old in Texas? Explore your customer base and figure out where you fit.
There are numerous ways to identify your target market. You will likely have an idea of the type of customer you want to attract from the get-go. It is just a matter of reaching those customers and seeing if they are truly interested in your product.
Don't go wasting half your marketing budget on your quest to find your target market. If you think your customers will be active adults fond of the outdoors, you might choose to visit local nature societies or park reserves in order to see if that group really likes your product. Instead of wasting time surveying thousands of people, go straight to the source. Find your niche and stay there.
Creating a Marketing Plan Within Your Budget
Now that you know who you are marketing to, you'll have to figure out how to do it. The "how" will be determined by your budget. Begin by asking yourself several simple questions:
-How much money can I spend on marketing?
-What type of advertising do I want to do?
-Where should I do this advertising?
While it is impossible to accurately foresee where you will want to spend your marketing money for the next year, you should be able to make some rough estimates. It can be helpful to research some of your potential competitors to see where their ad dollars end up. It is always good to learn from other people's flops. If you identify a certain ad campaign as ineffective, you've already saved money by avoiding the same mistake.
Cost Effective Ways to Market Your Business
Creativity is the key to any marketing plan. A creative home video featuring your business may find greater fame on YouTube.com than any television advertisement ever will. Not only is that free, it is effective.
The Internet has opened a whole new world of marketing opportunities, many of them free of charge. Both blogs and public forums have become a great way for business owners to connect with customers on a personal level. This is not about pitching potential customers; it's about sharing your opinion and having a conversation. Such a medium can be especially advantageous in establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
Article marketing has become another increasingly popular means through which companies market their products. This process requires you to write informative articles relating to the your industry. Once you've written a batch of articles, they can be submitted to article databases and then distributed to websites throughout the Internet. Each and every one of those articles will have links going directly to your company's website. That is free publicity at its best!
Maximizing a budget for a new business is never easy. When you identify your target market, create a marketing plan, and seek out marketing opportunities within your budget, you set yourself up to see sales climb.
About the Author
Roger Haumann owns a drywall contracting business by day and makes money online by night. Visit his blog, Get a Rush, to read more about his online business. Roger is also a frequent contributor to Article Marketer, an online article distribution service. http://www.articlemarketer.com