The new financial year is here and if you are looking at ways to market your business or brand, but don’t have any marketing budget, then you’ll have to become very savvy at being able to use everything that you currently have available to you.
It doesn’t really matter if your marketing budget is non-existent or if it was cut (due to financial stress or lacklustre sales) the reality is that every business needs to market themselves. Period. One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is waiting until they have NO business before they start marketing or they wait until things are not going well before they consider it.
Over the many years I have worked with brands, one observation I can make is this:
All the businesses that continue to market (irrespective of size or budget) continue to grow. Even in times that were financially straining on these businesses and budgets were cut, they continued to reinforce their brand through continued, sustained marketing efforts.
So if your marketing budget has actually been cut, here are 5 things that you can implement straight away without having to spend any money :
- When you did do a marketing activity in the past, were there any promotions or activities that were very successful that you could re-use or implement again?
- Consider calling your existing clients, and even some of your prospects, and ask them for some help in being able to market to them, you can also use this exercise as part of your market research and when given the opportunity, clients can sometimes have some brilliant ideas on how they would like to be communicated to?
- Try submitting articles or case studies of your brand, your product or service to local publications and media, chances are editors and journalists are often looking for stories and experts to comment on various features. It could be a great to get some much needed exposure for your business or brand?
- Ask an internal staff member who is savvy with social media to show you some of the ways that you can begin to ‘seed’ (plant your business or brand into the minds of prospective audiences) and take advantage of the many ‘free’ social media channels and social networks that are being widely adopted today. You might be surprised at the quick take up your audience has in following you online?
- Take a look at all the everyday marketing communication material (both electronic and print) that your business or brand utilises that could be used as an opportunity to market yourself, some suggestions might be to advertise your latest promotion at the base of your email footer, or add in a new or extended service on the notes section of your invoices, or even look at printing up extra copies of an advertisement placed into every single letter, invoice or package that you send out – You might be surprised at the response your receive.
There quick, effortless and effective methods are utilised by some of the savviest and global brands around, big brands such as Coca-Cola and NIKE adopt these strategies themselves and demonstrate that marketing so much more than a campaign or an advertisement that has a shelf life.
Marketing starts from within the businesses core and permeates across every single piece of communication that leaves the organisation. It is an opportunity to touch your target audience and to continue to build relationships with them, only then does marketing become an investment and not an expense.
If you are still not sure where to start then Stella Design can help you develop a communication strategy that fits into your marketing efforts to achieve the designed sales.Written By Stella Gianotto, Founder and Creative Director, Stella Design
A strategic brand and marketing strategist for over 15 years.