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Instant Marketing for Almost Free : Effective, Low-Cost Results in Weeks, Days, or Hours
Without a doubt, developing high-impact marketing is one of the toughest challenges for small and medium businesses.
The world of marketing is in the midst of a revolution, generating great new opportunities for entrepreneurs in Internet, street and stealth marketing. Instant Marketing for Almost Free presents tactics designed to deliver effective marketing quickly and at a low cost:
--Reaching out to Internet "communities"
--"Street" and other nontraditional advertisements
--Email marketing that's not spam
--And hundreds of other methods
Instant Marketing for Almost Free is a totally up-to-the-minute approach to marketing that will see businesses increasing their profits while reducing their marketing headaches.
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December 31, 2006
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Excerpt from Instant Marketing for Almost Free by Susan F. Benjamin
Ten Imperatives of Instant Marketing Success
Excerpted from Instant Marketing for Almost Free by Susan Benjamin (c) 2007
If you're going to have a marketing campaign, you must have marketing materials. Everyone knows this, but judging by the quality of marketing material out there, you'd think no one was paying attention. I mean, some of the stuff--actually most of it--is bad. This, by the way, is great news for you. Your marketing material can be worlds better than your competitors' and bring you the response you want.
But to reap those rewards, you had better do ten critical things. We'll return to them throughout the rest of this book--and you should be sure to return to them for the rest of your marketing life.
Imperative 1: It Should Be Useful!
Think of all the business cards you've received in your life. How many are there? Hundreds? Thousands? Now, think of all the cards you have scanned in your computer. Filed in your Rolodex. Kept anywhere in your office. How many is that? Twenty? Thirty? Less? And the brochures? How many of those have you saved for more than an afternoon?
The answer speaks to the number-one challenge business owners face when producing marketing material: how do you get the customer to pay attention to it? And the answer, oft forgot by business owners everywhere, is give it a purely utilitarian function. Dentists and hairdressers learned this lesson long ago for more immediate and practical reasons: they put the time and date of the appointment on the back of their business card. The customer remembers the appointment and keeps the card, so the next time that tooth aches or the hair grows too low on the brow, they know exactly whom to call.
Giving your marketing material a utilitarian function also insures that your customer will return to your marketing material again and again. Take the Web. Here you have ample opportunities to offer your customer useful, even indispensable, information. You can provide tips or a spoken lesson every week or two that your customer will eagerly access. Only remember: update the site regularly. Freshness is the key to having frequent visitors!
If you happen to be in retail or manufacturing, where lessons of this sort may be impractical, think about the other marketing materials you dispense. Have a brochure? Your hours of operation are helpful, but how about putting safety tips on the back--perfect for the workplace bulletin board. If you're in the security business, how about a list of emergency numbers on the back of your brochure, business cards, or anywhere they'll fit. This will enhance your visibility, ensure the customer equates your brand with safety, and come in handy in an emergency.
Naturally, you can boost your exposure with giveaways, too. And I am not talking about Tootsie Roll pops or oversized erasers that might get a laugh but end up in the trash. Pens and pencils are okay, but face the small-object reality--the print is usually too tiny for anyone to see, affordable varieties tend to be cheap and the customers unlikely to value them, and they're just the right size to slip behind a couch pillow or roll on the floor, never to be seen again.
Instead, try for something really useful. Calendars are an all-time favorite, and as we'll discuss in greater detail, with computer programs you can do-it-yourself, no problem. I have a calendar from the West Virginia Extension Service posted right by my garden door, alerting customers like me not only of national holidays, but also the correct time to plant my garden, purchase lime, and countless other details most of us don't know or remember.
Unusual giveaways with your name and number on them can prove even more beneficial than the standard ones, just as long as there's a direct connection to your business. For example, the art supply and framing store down the street gives away yardsticks. I've had mine for years. And the insurance agent I mentioned earlier gives away great road maps.