I didn’t see many stores this year for Black Friday because I was in the trenches with a client as usual. My wife, however, was out and about enjoying the sales and battling the crowds looking for some fun gifts. One problem? Several stores she went to were closed. During normal business hours. On Black Friday! She said she saw several other cars pull in, check the door and leave as well. Of course, she reluctantly went to their competitors and spent her money with them as I’m sure the other people did as well. Money just walked out the door and no one was even around to know. If you are in retail, you are open Black Friday, it’s just the nature of the beast. I cannot imagine why a retail store would be closed during normal hours on Black Friday. Meanwhile here are some tips for the rest of you who were open to increase your sales over this holiday season.
Marketing is always shifting and someone always has the next best thing that will “do away with traditional marketing”. There are new ways to deliver content, new ways that consumers prefer to be marketed to but marketing and the marketing fundamentals never really go away. Keeping up with the latest trends can be exhausting but don’t worry, here are 6 hot trends that actually work. Explore your marketing potential with them.
There are 86 million Millenials in the United States with a collective buying power of $1.3 Trillion. We all know it’s a market that can’t be ignored but a lot of businesses find out it is a market that isn’t like the previous generations. They have a less collective identity but they still exhibit overall preferences in how they buy and consume goods and services. Here is a quick infographic to help with marketing to the generation that still hasn’t flexed its full market potential.
It is truly astonishing how many ways there are to market without spending money if you are willing to spend some time. Of course, when some businesses say they want free marketing it means they want someone else to do it for free. They just need to remember that everyone’s time is valuable and in general, people do not like working for free. Consider a trade, consider what you can do for them, find a way to compensate others even if you are cash-strapped and you will find people more willing to help you. Doing it yourself is the intent of these articles on marketing without a budget but if you can get help, go for it. Of the methods on this infographic, I like YouTube. It’s the worlds second largest search engine and can find an audience that other platforms can’t match if you do it right.
Let’s get to the meat of it. How do you market without a budget? The simple answer is by spending time on your marketing. The less money you spend the more time you will have to spend on getting your message out there. Content Marketing is a great method for establishing your brand voice, gaining credibility and getting your message out to your target audience. Of all the methods in the Infographic below, I am partial to Networking. It has done the most for my business in terms of time spent to dollars earned. Of course, each industry is different but I am of the opinion you can’t go wrong with networking as you explore the methods that work best for you.
This week we will be talking about how to market your small business. We will discuss Guerilla Marketing, Traditional Marketing, Content Marketing and how to do it all on little or no budget. One truth I have found in marketing is that when you spend less money you have to spend more time, it’s a tradeoff. When you feel you shouldn’t spend money on marketing your business ask yourself what your own time is worth. It might be more expensive in the long run not to hire someone. Of course, you can learn to do it all yourself, just make sure that’s the best thing for your business.
While it takes time to set up your market research question and prepare your research correctly it doesn’t have to be hard to set up the research itself. Some research is accomplished by using available data. As long as it fits your research question there is no reason to dismiss information that is already out there. Surveying customers is also relatively simple as long as the questions are set up correctly (a discussion for another day). We will go over these methods of gathering information and hopefully this infographic will get you thinking about what information you might need to answer your research problem.