Good marketing is usually half the battle. This certainly includes many factors. The product has to be right, the price has to be right and the best thing is that you still have a whole range of distribution channels. But what makes the top brands so desirable?
It is probably marketing, i.e. communication policy measures such as advertising with the aim of making your brand or product known and charging it with characteristics and values.
But you don’t always have to book an advertising space in Times Square, TV commercials during the World Cup final or a whole page in the picture. On the contrary, good marketing doesn’t always have to be expensive. Many times you can even advertise your company or product for free.
The budget is always a challenge, especially for start-ups. But just as broad as the term marketing is, so endless are the measures to market your product. There are no limits to your imagination.
No or only a tight advertising budget can be a curse and a blessing at the same time. Because cost-effective marketing usually relies on creativity, which in turn promotes uniqueness. And in marketing we know: Standing out is the key to success.
In my daily work with founders, I have often dealt with these topics and selected the best tips for you. Certainly not all will fit your industry, but sometimes the thought-provoking impulse helps!
Become a unicorn
I’m sure you’d like to become a unicorn, a start-up valued at over 1 billion euros. But in that case I mean you and not your start-up.
Just look for a funny disguise, a unicorn, a gorilla, a seahorse or whatever you can think of that fits your company so well. Then get into your costume and off to the pedestrian zone of your city.
Outside of the carnival or carnival season you will certainly stand out. Just take a few flyers or product samples with you and your canvassing (distributing clever words for flyers) will be much more charming and eye-catching.
A friendly start-up did just that. With breathtaking success. The young founders simply dressed up as a green smiley to match the corporate colours. The smiley spread so quickly among customers that it immediately became the company’s mascot. Recognition guaranteed!
On good neighbour
Especially for local shops and companies there is a simple and at the same time cheap way to introduce yourself in the neighbourhood. Just send postcards to your neighbours or companies and people you would like to network with.
But of course you don’t send boring cards with one of the classic sights of your city. Instead, you print your postcards with a map of your surroundings. On each card you paint the way from the neighbour to your shop or office. Want to bet that he or she will drop by for a cup of coffee?
Among my founders, this has almost become a classic, because the postcard is inexpensive but at the same time unusual. The effort is also manageable and in addition it is a nicer way of direct marketing.
I must confess: I myself have used this method several times in my own management consultancy. With success! The contacts I made have resulted in a number of orders and a strong network.
Bribe your customers to lure them into your business
Many founders put a lot of effort into the presentation of their products. The stores and shops usually look excellent, but many people just walk past them.
The skepticism of the customers is great, especially when it comes to new stores. So it’s better to stop at the shop window and admire the products from the outside. But that does not do the founder much good. After all, at the end of the day, the euros count in the till. What to do?
What would it be like if you simply bribed customers? Imagine, for example, selling socks. Socks are quite cheap to buy and can therefore be given away to potential customers.
But! Give away only one sock at a time and point out that the customer will also get the second sock as a gift if he comes to your shop. Of course, this also works with all kinds of other products. Also with services this is not a problem, even if not quite so tangible. Instead of a product, you simply distribute mini vouchers. Not quite as cool, but the same effect!
With this action your shop can quickly become a customer magnet. And as we know above all from flea markets: Mass attracts mass.
Sweepstakes on the net
ewin games seem to be the order of the day at the moment, especially in times of social media. With the right price, a range of tens of thousands of views can be achieved. But there are two things you should keep in mind: The raffle has to be serious, so it should end soon and the prize should really be spent at the end. In addition, you should perhaps give your competition a small boost by advertising in the social media channels. A few euros a day is usually enough.
From my experience I can say that such sweepstakes almost always work. Finally, I was able to support a founder who achieved a reach of almost 200,000 people by raffling her own jewellery collection. The raffle was divided several hundred times. And that with a value of goods of less than 100 euros.
Let’s go back to analog life. Here, too, lotteries work. Especially if you want to intensify the contact to your customers or build up a strong relationship.
Why don’t you just raffle what you do best? This doesn’t necessarily have to do with your business or company. Maybe you have a rare hobby? Or are you the professional with unknown instruments?
Especially unexpected abilities make a founder much more likeable. Actions such as “singing with the managing director” or “magic with the boss” sound wacky, but they also make you more likeable, more human. Because companies often lack the personal and human side to flourish customer loyalty.
So what do you have to do? Simply choose the contacts you would like to network with. Similar to the postcard method, you can simply write to these contacts and refer to your lottery. In any case, people will talk about you.