"20 Low-Cost Marketing Ideas to Build Your Business Right Now"

Today’s marketing climate represents many hurdles and opportunities for promotional products distributors. Current buyers are consulting different channels to do research and make purchasing decisions than they were 10 years ago. This is bad news for distributors that exclusively employ traditional marketing methods. The good news is that the marketing tools to differentiate yourself and appeal to the modern buyer have never been more accessible and economical.

This session will explore 20 innovative marketing ideas that can be implemented with relative ease at minimal/no cost.

Take aways
1. Understanding of new ways to market your company
2. A look at the way buyers have shifted their buying decisions in the past 10 years
3. An injection of creativity into your business

Mark Graham


1.  Twitter
Why? Establish yourself as a thought leader and invaluable market research
Cost? Zero
Where? www.twitter.com

2. Facebook - personal page
Why? Developing personal relationships with your customers/prospects
Cost? Zero

Why? Gives your brand a personality as well as an opportunity to speak directly to customers/prospects
Cost? Zero
4. LinkedIn - recommendations
Why? A friend’s recommendation is more important than ever today when it comes to influencing a buyer’s decision to buy
Cost? Zero
Where? www.linkedin.com

5. LinkedIn - answers
Why? To establish yourself as a credible professional within your chosen field (credibility generates sales)
Cost? Zero

6.  Flickr
Why? Great venue to showcase photographs of customer case studies
Cost? Zero
Where? www.flickr.com

7. Video
Why? Dynamic way to capture people’s attention when it comes to sales, customer service or marketing.
Cost? Zero
Where? www.youtube.com, www.vimeo.com, www.videofarm.tv

Why? Dynamic way to present case studies or marketing ideas
Cost? Zero
Where? www.wordpress.com, www.tumblr.com, www.blogger.com, www.posterous.com

Industry blogs: www.brandedmatters.com, www.whitethreads.com, www.swag20.com http://brandextenders.wordpress.com/

9. End user shows
Why? Showcasing your creative ideas to clients/prospects is a great way to build relationships, attract new clients and generate additional sales from existing clients.
Cost? Free-$10000
Where? Your office, banquet hall, nightclub, supplier’s office

10. Sponsor a conference
Why? To associate your name as a promotional products supplier within a specific target audience
Cost? Zero (assuming you sell the goods at cost)
Where? Your local chamber of commerce, a customer’s conference, local trade association

11. Public speaking
Why? Increases your public profile. Builds trust and credibility for your personal/corporate brand.
Cost? Zero (or you may even earn money)!
Where? Local chamber of commerce, trade association, customer’s event, conference seminar

12. Contests
Why? To drive sales by tapping into your customers’ desire to win/save money/have fun.
Cost? The cost of the gift, coupon, credit, discount
Where? Email, your web site, direct mail

13. Referral program
Why? Inexpensive, effective marketing technique as clients like to refer their contacts to good service providers
Cost? Starbucks card, iTunes gift certificate, discount off future order
Where? Online/offline

14. Handwritten notes and gifts (self promos)
Why? Customer love to be recognized and acknowledged. Fantastic way to build a relationship
Cost? Avg $5-10 per gift (includes self promo + cost of postage)
Where? USPS or hand delivered

15. Ratings & Reviews
Why? Gives people an opportunity to provide feedback about your products. Effective way to respond quickly to dissatisfied clients (and turn a bad situation into a good one)
Cost? Zero
Where? www.surveymonkey.com

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