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Friday, September 26, 2008

Marketing Made Simple in Tough Times

Friday, September 26, 2008

As the number of small businesses continue to expand, and the economy tightens, it's important to consider how best to manage your marketing costs. The key to success is leverage - stretching all of your marketing efforts to produce a greater return. When times are tough, consider these marketing tips:

1. Use business cards as promotional material. Consider putting a coupon on the back of your business cards. For about $25 you can get about 500 cards and they are easy to distribute.

2. Use your customers to promote your products and services. Do you ask for referrals? Are you giving your customers promotional materials to give to friends and family? Consider how you can engage your customers to help you be successful.

3. Host an event. Consider a low cost way to attract new customers to your products or services. Generate a promotion, offer a product or service for free. A good example is a photographer who holds and open house and raffles off one of his paintings. Think about how you can draw a crowd.

4. Find affiliates. Look for complimentary businesses who you can partner with. Is there a store near your's that can promote your services? Can you find affiliates online who would like to sell your products and services?

5. Promote in your local neighborhood. Print up fliers or post cards and distribute them in your neighborhood. If you have an online business, consider submitting your business for local listings on Google and Yahoo.

6. Develop an email list to promote your products and services to. Offer some free information online in exchange for an email address. Email promotional offers and campaigns.

7. Keep marketing. When times are tough, keep marketing. Just because you're short on cash doesn't mean you should stop marketing. Marketing is your key to success in both the short and long term.

Thing about new and creative ways to promote your business. Focus on communication vehicles, touch points, and using your customers to help promote your products and services.


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