Inevitably, every new business will be driven to find creative ways to market their merchandise. Don’t be fooled into thinking the Internet is the best way to locate customers who are willing to purchase your product.
While the Internet is a very effective way to introduce your business to the tech-savvy world, we often overlook the traditional marketing methods used to connect with busy people living in the real world. Deciding which marketing tool to use depends on the total investment you are willing to shell out. Here are five easy methods:
1. Get yourself a large stack of business cards and give them out to everyone you know. But why stop there? Ask your friends and family to pass them out for you. Offer a discount to anyone who passes out a business card that is returned to you with his or her name on the back. Keep your eye out for stores that have business card boards and add yours to the list. Reach as many people as you can and hang your card everywhere.
2. Custom signage is effective way to reach thousands of people on a daily basis. Create a billboard sign that is informative but also quick and easy to read. While it’s all but impossible to determine the return on your investment, a custom sign typically will not rupture your budget. Placing the sign on your building will draw consumers right to your door. Be sure to check with the local code enforcement office to make sure you are not breaking any laws before hanging anything permanent on your building.
3. Another effective and reasonably priced marketing investment are vinyl banners. Vinyl banners are durable and can withstand even the most extreme weather. Ideally, having your vinyl banner displayed in a prominent location will drive more customers to your business.
4. Become involved in local activities. This is a great opportunity to network with other business owners and pick their brains for marketing strategies that have worked in for them.
5. Add your business name and contact information to your vehicle. If you can’t afford to have a professional paint your vehicle, a vinyl window cutout or vinyl banner can reach just as many people with a much smaller price tag.
Develop a memorable message so your new customers keep coming back. Consumer purchasing is driven by the economy, and in today’s market people are spending less on wants and more on needs. Develop a marketing plan that personally touches the consumer.
Here’s four more ideas for striking the right tone:
1. Offer a guaranteed low price on an everyday necessity. This will keep your customers talking and bring in new business as they share their discovery with family and friends. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to build a good reputation and draw in new loyal customers.
2. Go the extra mile when it comes to customer service. Create a comfortable shopping experience and then ask your customers what you can do to make things even better. Let them know you value their opinions.
3. Come up with a tag line that people will remember. While you may not boast the “Just Do It” trademark that Nike is best known for, a well thought out tag line will stick in the minds of your customers. Take it one step further and try to incorporate an emotion that will shock, surprise or even make your customers laugh.
4. Contact local nonprofit businesses and offer free, no-obligation consultation or offer free samples. If your product is edible, wrap up single servings with your business card or name on the outside and make a donation to your local food bank.
Remember, whatever your marketing budget, use it wisely and identify the needs of your customers. One of the faults a lot of new business owners make is to market to themselves. If you find your current method isn’t working, contact a local marketing research firm and participate in focus group activities to see what you are doing right and what you have to change to grow your business.