So you want to start a business on your own. You want to sell a product that you think is on par with others in the same category or maybe it’s better than the others. The only hitch is, that you don’t know how to market the product simply because you are starting your venture on a shoestring budget and therefore, you have very little or no money for marketing. In a case like this, how would you promote and advertise your product so that it builds equity in the market?
As a common practice, the marketing budget should be about 2% to 5% of the overall gross sales, but this is not the same for all markets and products. So the first thing you need to do when you start a business is to figure out what your marketing budget would be for the first six months.
You could use the following promotional activities to begin with – events, aggressive advertising, internet marketing, word of mouth, strategic partnerships, public relations and direct marketing. For a low budget start-up unit, the following marketing tools can be useful:
Newspaper write-ups – You can get articles that talk about your product in a broader perspective, published in a newspaper. For example, if you are selling a sauna belt, the article can be about the effects of sauna treatment for weight loss. The article can also have a word or two from a famous personality who religiously believes in the sauna treatment.
Direct marketing – Instead of going for expensive marketing techniques when you start a business, go for direct marketing. Keep your target audience limited and specific to reach them in the most effective and the cheapest way. For example, fliers inserted in newspapers and informative emails are two inexpensive direct marketing tools.
Word- of- mouth publicity – Get your friends and colleagues to spread the word about your product. This is the most effective and economical way to advertise. Get your friends and colleagues together for a small gathering and introduce your product to them. Keep in mind not to sell it too aggressively!
Internet marketing – Get people familiar with your product through internet write-ups and blogs. Most enterprises depend upon blogs to garner awareness for their products. This is again an extremely cheap and hassle free exercise. Similarly, market your product via social networking sites. Keep people intimated about new schemes, discounts, product enhancements and other new developments.
Make a website of your product – This is a relatively inexpensive option. Making a website of your product gives you a better chance to display your product and explain its features to millions of eyeballs everyday.
While all these could be effective marketing techniques that you can use when you start a business, you would eventually need to have a more consolidated and planned marketing strategy to promote your product and services. Therefore, keep putting aside a small part of your profits every month for your marketing budget. Use your marketing budget judiciously and keep a track of the results on each front. A marketing tactic that does not give you the desired numbers should be dropped.
All in all, make sure that every penny of your marketing budget is used to effectively project and promote your product. Follow a strategy that convinces your target audience to follow the lead and lets your business grow.
For more information and to learn how to work with Maryjean.