As small business owners, we need to constantly be aware of the multitude of marketing opportunities that surround us every day. To survive in this tough economy, you need to maximize the dollars you invest in marketing to get your greatest ROI.
One of the easiest ways to get more mileage out of your advertising and promotional dollars is to think of creative ways to implement marketing strategies in some of the things you already do.
This may not be appropriate for all businesses and some people do not want their personal vehicles to resemble a rolling billboard. But many of my clients have told me they get new business every month as a result of their vehicle signage, and the business gained far offsets the cost of production. On the lower end of the spectrum, magnetic car signs can offer the benefit of low-cost advertising while providing the ability to remove the signs on the weekends, for example, when you might not want to have people approaching you to talk about business. That is a matter of personal preference, but the more exposure you can get, the better.
There is a fixed cost for driving your vehicle, whether it's for commuting to the office or running errands. Why not offset those costs by getting new customers? If you are more committed and have a larger budget, you might want to consider vehicle wraps. These can be expensive and they are intended to stay on the vehicle at all times, but they make a significantly larger impact and attract more possible prospects for your business.
Another way to reduce your advertising and marketing expenses is to split the costs with a business that offers complementary services. Co-op advertising is often underutilized or misunderstood because business owners are afraid they're going to lose business. But quite the opposite is true.
Co-op advertising is used to split the cost of the promotion, such as a booth rental at a trade show or a fair. It can also be used to buy larger, more prominent ad space or perhaps a color ad vs. a black-and-white version because the cost is being offset by multiple parties.
(Editor's note: LocalShops1 members may participate in co-op ads and co-branded merchandise.) Sometimes business owners are unsure as to what types of businesses would be recommended for a co-op situation. Here are some creative ideas for types of businesses that have worked well together in these scenario:
Chiropractors, weight-loss clinics and massage therapists
Wedding planners, wedding hair and makeup artists, caterers and mobile disc jockeys
Car detailers, car stereo installers, auto mechanics and automotive accessories
Pet sitter, veterinarian, pet supplies and dog trainers
Hair salons, spas and weight loss clinics
There are many other possibilities. Almost any type of business out there could partner up with one or more complementary businesses. Think in terms of demographics. In other words, what would the person buying your product or service also be interested in?
Barry Craft is founder of Your Marketing Crew. For more great tips for lowering your marketing costs, please read the rest of the article at YourMarketingCrew.com.