Working With A Minimum Marketing Budget
So, you’ve got $5,000 to market your business, but how do you get the best ‘bang’ for your buck? Here are five marketing activities to help promote and grow your business.
1. BUILD YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
Amazingly, around 60 percent of SMEs are yet to have a convincing presence online. With millions of consumers daily searching online for products or using the internet to research a business before making a buying decision, how can any business afford not to have an online shop front? $5,000 should get you a professional 10-page website with online business functions like e-news, e-commerce, blogs, forums and a back-end content management system (CMS) so you can administer and edit the site yourself.
An online business, rather than just a website, allows you to sell products online, communicate with your customers, promote what’s happening in your business and instantly view and measure all the results. Technology advances now allow you to build secure zones within your site that only staff or VIP customers can access, special pricing and discounts throughout your e-shop and even forums where your customers can comment and discuss your products.
Around $4,000 should cover you for the design and development of a start-up online business with $1,000 left over from your budget for some online promotion; after all, what good is an online business that nobody knows about? Google AdWords is a good start. Choose some common keywords that potential customers would use when searching for your products online, set your daily budget and sit back and watch your site visits increase, all measured ‘live’ through your CMS.
2. DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN
Most small-to-medium businesses find that the majority of their regular customers generally come from within a 5km radius of their front door. Direct mail promotion is an affordable and effective way to reach your local customers.
Through your local Australia Post distribution centre and their new MailPost you can send ‘unaddressed mail’ to businesses, post office boxes or street addresses in your local area from around 12 cents an item or complete print and distribution packages from 17 cents for 15,000 A4s.
The main objective here though is to make sure that your direct mail doesn’t look like junk mail. A creatively designed flyer in full colour will work well if printed on glossy, mid-weight stock. Allow $2,000 of your budget for design, copywriting, photography and final artwork from a graphic design house or agency.
Traditionally, direct mail campaigns produce low returns of less than one-to-two percent, however you can increase these results by:
- promoting a clear offer in your flyer
- adding a ‘close date’ to your offer
- including a large picture of someone ‘enjoying’ the product
- keeping the content simple and using bullet points
- selling the ‘benefits’ of your product or service, not just the ‘features’
- adding a coupon or a competition