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Marketing on a Shoestring
"10 Ways to Communicate Cost Effectively"

David Saxby
David Saxby
Speakers' Bureau of Alberta©

A limited budget does not mean your marketing ideas have to be limited. Shoestring Marketing is about making more money with less effort. It's about growing your business without spending unnecessary marketing dollars.

Marketing on a Shoestring is a dynamic keynote address or a participative workshop. For the best effect, employ David to deliver a keynote followed by a workshop.

David will articulately and authoritatively introduce you to thinking beyond conventional marketing and looking for unique opportunities. It's more about having an innovative mindset than it is about budget.

We are presented numerous opportunities to market our businesses but we often fail to recognize them. Every interaction you have provides an opportunity to build public relations and business growth. These interactions could be with prospects, current customers, past customers, family and friends, your community, professionals - your lawyer or accountant, networking clubs, colleagues, etc. They interact with you through many channels: telephone or web enquiries; on hold or voicemail messages; receiving a sales letter, brochure, email, greeting card, invitation, an invoice; visiting a tradeshow; seeing your brand on packaging, signage, or your vehicle; and even making purchases.

The secret is to create meaningful interactions with these people. You can do this through: market research and feedback forms, newsletters, follow-up phone calls, loyalty programs, delivering presentations, sales, breakfast, lunch or dinner events, community and association involvement and more.

Focus on ensuring that each interaction is consistent with your brand and provides value by making meaningful contributions to their lives.

Here are 10 Ways to Create Meaningful Connections and Leverage Your Marketing Investment:

1. Develop an Integrated Approach. Make certain that everything you do has the same look and feel and communicates a consistent message. Every interaction with your customer should reinforce your brand, and the promise it delivers, from the initial contact to the confirmation of the sale and the follow-up. Your marketing should support the sales process and visa versa. To learn more read the chapter on 'Integrated Sales and Marketing' in "Sales Gurus Speak Out."

2. Create Strategic Alliances to penetrate a market where you have limited exposure. Find an individual or company that is connected in the industry that perhaps has a different expertise than you do, align your business with theirs to provide a more in-depth service for the customer.

3. Find a champion that is supportive of your business and who is able to connect you with key decision makers. They could be an existing customer, a retired business person, a member of an association you belong to, a prominent individual in your community or an individual in a related business. The aim is to connect with their network and expand yours. Nurture the relationship by keeping them in the loop with your business plans.

4. Befriend Your Competitors. Many established businesses will refer customers to a competitor when they don't have time to handle the business themselves, or when the customer is too small for them to service profitably. You can get that business simply by staying on a friendly basis with your competitors.

5. Bundle Your Services With Other Businesses. Bring together a group of businesses and pool your funds. Think of other complementary businesses that are also targeting the same market as yours. Accountants could partner with financial planners and lawyers. Can you jointly run an event or attend a tradeshow? Can you share the costs of a direct mail or advertising campaign and then share the customers? Who can you partner with?

6. Get More Mileage For Your Dollar: Use Contra Promotion. Find another business that wants to connect with your target market, one that is a natural fit with that market. Trade promotional opportunities; swap promotional literature, put their business cards or brochures on the counter in your business. Make certain that your promotional partner provides the same level of service as you do – i.e. if your product/service is first class then theirs should be too.

7. Barter . Is there a business that you use as a supplier that might need your services? Can you exchange services? Think about all the assets you have to barter with. You have products and services, customer contacts, intellectual property, personal contacts, your staff. Time and money are interchangeable - when you're short of one, spend the other.

8. Use Other Peoples Money: Coop Advertising. Does your business promote a product or service that is produced by a manufacturer or supplier? If so, you have a perfect opportunity to ask them to support your marketing efforts. Your suppliers have a vested interest in your success. They can provide you with funds, equipment, staff, discounted offers and even contacts or referrals.

9. Small Ads, are just as effective as large ads. A 2/3 page magazine ad costs less than a full page. The 2/3 page ad still dominates the page without the added cost. Also, if you commit to 6 or 12 month contract, with an advertising media, it reduces your cost per ad.

10. Model Success - Look Inside and Outside of Your Industry. A lot of what you want to achieve in your marketing have already been done by someone else. Look for successful businesses inside and outside your industry and model their successful ideas, process or techniques. Model business, or sales and marketing processes; advertising concepts; customer service, loyalty, reward or referral programs; website concepts; promotional literature and direct marketing concepts.

Don't let a limited budget deter you from being innovative with your marketing and increase sales. Reposition yourself versus your competition, compete by changing the rules – think beyond conventional marketing and looking for unique opportunities and possibilities and you will successfully Market on a Shoestring.

To book David Saxby contact the Speakers’ Bureau of Alberta©: 1.866.420.3338 toll free info@speakersalberta.com

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