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Published:December 31st, 2005 11:44 EST
Marketing Secrets on a Shoestring Budget

Marketing Secrets on a Shoestring Budget

By John Palumbo (Mentor/Columnist)


It does not take a marketing genius to spend tens of thousands of dollars utilizing a variety of market resources and mediums to get your message into the market place; however, great, budget-conscious marketers are made, not born. It requires discipline, a precise system, and a highly strategic plan to really develop your business marketing savvy. If you want to grow your business like weed, gain a decisive, and competitive advantage, attract new customers in droves, and redouble your profits "then you need to open your mind and revamp outdated marketing ideals that you may have.

To compete in today`s market builders need to find as many small niches as they can and excel in niches that cannot be filled by larger competitors by switching mentalities from that of a seller to that of a marketer. Marketing is the opposite of selling. Find a need people have and make people aware of your solution, then selling almost unnecessary. The following are 10 core strategy secrets that every top-producing company I have ever worked with has learned to master. They are:

  1. Your goals " the simple setting and monitoring of goals for each area of your company can cause 150 " 200% increase in performance. The most important thing you can do for your company is to create a goal-orientated environment.

  2. Hiring and Motivating " There are certain types of recruiting tools that have a virtual guarantee of top performers, but the most important recommendation that I could make would be to use a good, quality behavior profile assessment and sales profile for every candidate you consider. You can e-mail me for recommendations and samples of the most cost effective profiles to help you in this area.

  3. Strategy vs. Tactics "The first thing to really understand is the difference between strategy and tactics. Strategy " means you have determined in advance an ultimate goal you would like to achieve for each tactic. Tactic - are the things you do to achieve your goal. A tactic is a marketing effort such as: a yellow page ad, a newsletter, a trade publication such as Builder Architect Magazine, or a speaking engagement. So, if you want to be the most respected company in your market, you should ask yourself, do my tactics reflect that desire? These things just won`t happen, you have to make them happen.

  4. Understanding the Sales Process " If you do not understand the sales process thoroughly, then you are fooling yourself about being successful. There are numerous fundamental steps that every person goes through in order to make a purchase decision. Mastering these steps is one of the more powerful things that can lead to greatness.

  5. Keep`em Curious - In his book, Accidental Magic, Roy Williams asks the question, What was the last movie you paid to see twice? " It was probably a movie that made you curious, one that was interesting and thought provoking because you did not know exactly what was happening until the end of the movie. In the same way, an ad that you are not sure where it is heading is more interesting. An example, of such an ad is - a radio advertisement that has no ending. The next time you hear that ad you would likely turn up the radio just to try to get some additional details. Wouldn`t you want people to turn up your ads?

  6. Profiting from Co-Op Advertising and Strategic Alliances " If you had someone willing to pay for half of every ad you ran or anytime you did a direct mail piece they would cover all the postage, or would split the cost with you for any publication you want to run consistent advertising in monthly, why would you ever pay for 100% of your advertising again? That is exactly what Co-Op advertising is all about. Many of the vendors of which you are now using, will gladly pay to put your name in Trade Magazine Publications and newspapers, along with a variety of other marketing tactics, just for the asking.

  7. Million Dollar E-Mails " With technology advancing at the speed of a bullet, today`s marketers must accept the challenge of advancing with it. If you have been on the net for any time, I am sure you have heard of SPAM. There is a huge difference between permission e-mail marketing and SPAMing and I highly discourage the use of SPAM e-mail. There is a great article by Jim Daniels called, Bulk E-mail vs. Opt-in E-mail ", if you send me an e-mail I will be glad to forward the article to you.

  8. Post Card Marketing - While one of the most cost-effective strategies for marketing is with post cards, it is also the least understood tool. One of the things post cards will allow you to do is stay in front of the customer. All marketing must rely on repetition and post cards are one more part of that formula that can be done on a shoestring budget. If you drop me an e-mail, I will forward you a complete article on post card marketing.

  9. Master the Telephone " It is the most valuable weapon in today`s business arsenal. Yet, most of the sales people that I deal with do not use it effectively. Master it because it is the additional ingredient that is needed in a high tech, high touch world.

  10. Third Party Endorsements - One of the secrets of budget marketers is to make themselves available for articles, news stories, and to become spokespersons in trade publications. The combination of a small ad, along with a story written about you, your company, or your areas of expertise, in which you can help customers carries more weight than a pot of gold.