As discussed previously, reaching your prospects and customers with your message is today the single greatest ‘cost of doing business’.
If you are a small business, selling to other businesses (B2B) or a professional services firm and even when selling directly to your customers and clients (B2C), then here are our top 11 ways of getting your message to them most cost effectively.
In my past life, when working as a media planner buyer for one of the largest advertising agencies in the country, I quickly realized that when it comes to a media budget – there is never enough money! And I am talking about big national and international brands, with tens of millions of dollars who had to quickly make choices about media channels, geographical markets, length and intensity of their campaigns.
Yet the sad truth is that most small businesses do not plan their promotional budgets with anywhere the same level of professionalism. Even more importantly, the smaller your budget the more creative you have to be with your communication as you don’t have the luxury of being able to drum in your message through the sheer weight of your media budget. And you have to be more vigilant with capturing and analyzing data to understand what works and what doesn’t.
You will notice that Social Media, the most talked about development in the marketing arena and consumer lifestyle is ‘missing in action’ as a separate point in this list. The reason is simple. Social Media Marketing is so important and so pervasive in attracting customers, that aspects of what is now deemed social media marketing should be present in each of the 11 points below!
- Existing customers
- Influencers (who are not customers)
- Face to Face Conversation (Personal Sales)
- Direct Mail
- Promotional Products
- Physical – Dedicated Networking Groups, Industry Associations, Expos, etc
- Virtual (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- Paid Search / Pay Per Click
- Search Engine Optimization
- Trade Press
- Local Paper
- Niche Magazines
10. POINT OF SALE & PACKAGING
- If you are a retailer or supplier then getting this right is paramount
- Window displays and merchandising in general are still under utilized by most SME’s
Strategically placed traditional out of home and ambient media can be very effective. Consider the following for inspiration:
- Large Traditional Super site Billboards on Freeways purchased at distress rates
- Gyms, Medical Rooms, Lifts, Cafes, Restrooms, etc anywhere where there is a ‘captive audience’
- Business Signage (outside and inside your premises)
- Make sure the medium ‘drives the message’. This means craft your message creatively to address the medium it is in. E.g.: If you have a sticker on the mirrors of all the local hairdressers advertising your Personal Training Services Business then you should be connecting the message and offer to the mirror, or to the experience of getting a haircut, e.g.: “Do you like what you see? Get your Free Fitness Assessment at XYZ Personal Training and get on the road to looking and feeling good – inside and out”