Your company won’t grow if you don’t act now to make sure that your potential customers and clients know that your product or service is a necessity and the best. Here are three reasons why your business needs marketing more than ever:
1. Cheap Advertising
If you haven’t figured out how to cheaply market your business, I am certain your competitors have. The recession market conditions of recent years past created fire sales on once expensive marketing tactics such as local cable commercials and even billboards which opened the door to small business budgets. You may have even noticed that companies who never advertised in your area before now have television ads running on cable. They had the wherewith-all to take advantage of rock bottom prices to advertise. Recently a cable ad sales rep called me to offer my client 30 second product spots during a huge Mixed Martial Arts championship bout on FOX Sports 1 Network in Philadelphia for $25 each. Now that was cheap and hard to pass up!
The combination of more flexible advertising prices and more cable programming has led to very affordable television advertising opportunities.
2. Increased Competition
Have you noticed there are multiple buying options for just about anything? Own a local bricks & mortars print shop? Boy do you have competition! With price busting online competitors like Vistaprint.com and PsPrint.com offering deals such as free business cards and dollars off and networking is an absolute must! If you are an competitive space (most business are) you should be attending at least one business marketing event a month. Get out there and touch (appropriately with a handshake) potential customers. Don’t wait for them to stumble in your store, get out there and find them.
It really doesn’t matter what industry you are in, you will find that there are plenty of options for customers to choose from. It is your job as a business leader to give them a reason to choose your business and be there exactly when they need you.
3. You Can Do-It-Yourself!
There are many ways to handle your own marketing. You can build & host your website for free using great tried and true, affordable website builders such as Yola and Wix, but be sure you know what you are paying for so I make this recommendation with some advice.
Recently I was asked by a client to remediate a problem he was having with Web.com. Unfortunately he used their service to design, build, write and host his website and was under the impression that after a year all of the content and graphics would be his to keep. Boy was he wrong. When you purchase Web.com’s website design service you are not buying a website, you are paying them to design a custom site that you RENT. You are also paying for monthly maintenance that you really may not need.
When he decided that he didn’t want to pay the maintenance fee and wanted to to start taking care of his own website – they ceremoniously explained that he would need to create A NEW WEBSITE from scratch (he rented “his” site for a year for over $100 per month), buy a new domain name (they owned the one on the rental) or alternatively he could pay $1000 for the website source code (what will non-tech savvy small business owner do with that?), plus $99 to transfer the domain. To be fair, Web.com discloses that you do not own the website they created in their terms and conditions emailed to you once you hand over your credit card. Unfortunately, my client trusted the sales rep that initially opened his account who told him after one year he would own the website and didn’t go through the fine print. A choice he now regrets. If you hire third party to make a website for your just ensure that you can take it with you as is should you decide to fine use another provider.
Other DIY marketing tools available include enewsletter builders such as Constant Contact, iContact and Campaigner email. Benchmark actually has a free for life offering which is a great way to get started without any overhead. Most enewsletter builders offer free trials. If you a good writer you can even distribute you own press release using services such as PRWEB.com.
There is no reason to NOT to market. Pick a strategy and get it done now. For help with your small business public relations and marketing check out AskthePRExpert.com to obtain do-it-yourself marketing tips specific to your business.