Free Marketing

By joanne | 3rd April | Marketing Ideas, Marketing Skills, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Training

People often say that marketing is one of the first things to be cut in a recession – but I have to say that from experience, that hasn’t been the case.  Heading into a recession, many businesses invested in their marketing to boost sales on the way into the downturn.  Some have since cut back a little, but most are now investing again and confidence seems to be taking a postive turn.

If your budgets have been cut, please don’t think that signals an end to your marketing campaigns – it simply signals a start to your creativity.  And it might force you back to basics.

There are many marketing tools you can use which are free or very cost-effective.  Here are our top seven, based on the methods we believe offer the best returns:

  1. Follow-up.  I’m like a broken record with this point – but follow up is free.  It generates sales.  And most people never follow-up properly.
  2. Keep in touch.  Yet another method which is free or cheap.  Keeping in touch with old customers can generate income very quickly – we just proved this with one client; selling a £250,000 property off an email newsletter (without so much as a viewing).  The newsletter cost us very little and generated a great return!
  3. Positive Attitude.  This one definitely doesn’t have to cost you anything, but you’d be amazed at the difference it can make to your profits (or your wages, if you’re employed).  If you believe you will sell more products today, you will.  It’s a fact.
  4. Referral Marketing.  Helping others promote your product, or offering affiliate schemes can be incredibly cost-effective and can generate amazing results – just look at the network marketing companies, Amazon’s affiliate scheme and others for some great examples of this marketing method.
  5. Networking.  This can be a great marketing tool, if you set targets and know what you want to achieve.  Networking with the right people who offer complementary products to yours is the place to begin.
  6. Up-selling and Cross-selling.  Offering customers additional products or upgrades at the point of sale can generate incredible sales.  It’s suggested that up to 30% of people will accept an upgrade at the point of sale – would you like to go large?  I certainly would!
  7. PR.  If you have a story share it.  And use it in as many places as possible – your newsletters, your website, in the local press… The key is making sure you have something newsworthy and interesting.  (Tip – your customers don’t really care if one of your staff is pregnant or if you have a swanky new office.  They care what you can do for them, so keep on track.)

I’m sure there are more and I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I’ve deliberately left social media out, as everyone’s talking about it at the moment and I believe there are simpler methods that deliver better results right now for the time you need to invest.  Comments are welcome though if you disagree.

Happy marketing!

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