Cheap Tactics: Small business, Supersized Brand (Part two)

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Cheap Tactics: Small business, Supersized Brand (Part two)

You’ve plotted your vision on the map, you know your engine pretty well or at least you know what type it is, and you’ve got a comfortable position to steer yourself right into the heartland of that target market.

And it’s often at this point that people say they have so much more confidence.

Now we just need a few cheap tactics – and by cheap I mean inexpensive. Integrity is vital.

It’s extremely difficult to get new people to try your business. If you open a business, your target market will often have a care factor of zero, a lot of inertia, and a lot of other choices.

What can you do?

Give it Away: Freebies

One simple thing you can do is to take any money you would spend on advertising and instead use it to give away your product or service.

Say, for example, you’re a café. You could spend a hundred bucks printing up a voucher offering people a free cup of coffee or a free sandwich or soup. That way, you get word of mouth and some new repeat business.

The rationale is that it’s five times easier to get someone who is familiar with your business to come back than to get new business.

Let me just repeat that for emphasis. It is five times easier to get someone who is familiar with your business to come back than to get new business. Focus on retention, not just acquisition.

If you’re a professional service, or you operate with other businesses, you could offer a free information pack that would be of interest to your target. Or a free consultation.

This is where reciprocal advertising can come in handy.

Are there other businesses which do not directly compete with yours that are necessary for your customer?

For example: if you are a wedding photographer, can you develop relationships with venues, cake-makers, and celebrants? That way you can help each other with promotions.

Blogs and Newsletters

This one is especially good for professionals who may need to create understanding as well as business awareness. Show the problem you can solve. If possible, use the voice of a person afflicted with the problem. That way you aren’t a sleazy salesperson any longer, you’re a fellow soul. You ‘get’ it.

By creating a newsletter or an emailed newsletter, people will remember you.  You can also educate your market about the industry and what makes you different or better.  Creating content that is educational can also show that you’re an authority in your field.

The topics of your newsletter don’t have to be limited to your industry, they should simply be interesting to the target customer and what’s in it for them.

I received and email from a legal firm recently. They said the sound ‘Ping’ has now been trademarked by McCain Frozen Foods so whatever you do, don’t use a ‘ping’.

I don’t really need to know that but I think it’s interesting.  And if I need a marketing law firm, I’ll use JM because they have a presence in my mind.

So to re-cap:

Shows you’re an expert in your field.

Write with your Target Market in mind.

Use sixth grade English. That’s about the age of an eleven-year-old. Most Australian adults have that level of literacy.

In a world where there is so much information, everyone appreciates simplicity, even the most intelligent and literate among us.

Incentive Programs

A simple idea that a lot of businesses use.

This is done to get repeat business. It could be as simple as the coffee shop that clips your card and gives you every tenth coffee for free.

Subway the sandwich shop gives you little stamps and you get a free sandwich when you’ve filled your card.

A lot of book shops give you a free book when you purchase 8 full priced books.  Booktopia gives you a free ebook for every purchase.

Soul Destiny gives you $25 voucher when you buy $100 worth of books within a 12 month period.

If you have a professional business, you may be able to provide something like dinner for two at a nice restaurant or tickets to something that your target market would like if they give you a substantial type of business.

One interesting thing in the Australian Pleasure Survey showed that money wasn’t the best motivator. People generally prefer experience-based rewards.

So, to re-cap. Incentive programs can help get new and repeat business. Most people are repertoire-buyers rather than brand-loyalists but not for services. You can read the dirty on loyalty programs.

You can offer your own product or another kind of product that will appeal to your target market.

When deciding on the incentive, keep in mind that people value time and experiences more than money.

That’s three ideas. By all means, test out and customise to your own business. If it doesn’t work, change it or drop it. Stick with what does work.

What do you do? 

If you have any marketing ideas, I’d love you to share them. There’s probably a lot of great ideas that you already have that work for you.