Monday, November 27, 2006

Be your own PR person

Whilst a good PR person is gold, if you don't have the budget to pay for these services, don't think you can't generate some of your own PR.
I got an email from a gal on our Networx database asking about the Zero Budget Marketing CD we have and we got into a bit of an email chat about how to market her business, Sassi Sam. She's passionate about her products, but on a tight budget.
She'd sent out a media release - but I stressed the importance of following up, even if it's one journo at a time. She took on the challenge - and a few calls later, got this piece in a Sydney paper over the weekend! A result in a week - and it didn't cost her a cent.
So if you've got a great product or service or story, don't be afraid to get on the phone and pitch a story idea to an editor or journo. If you're onto a good thing, I guarantee you'll see some results if you show the initiative.
ps. And if you need a great handbag hanger, you now know where to get one!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Engage your friends!

If you're wanting to start a business, or needing some marketing inspiration, don't forget to tap into that vital resource....friends!

You may be surprised what insight, ideas or inspiration they can provide - all for the cost of a glass of wine.

AskBronny is a great little fashion advice site that has kicked off by relying on friends to provide everything from design, to articles to bloggers (like mine on dressing "Buxom Babes" like myself!). This will eventually morph into a viable web advertising businesses model, and will be able to pay some contributors - but it already looks amazing and professional all because "Bronny" has tapped into her friend's passion for fashion.

So next time you're lamenting over lack of budget, start cruising your personal address book!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

How should my email newsletter look?

Sending an email newsletter to your own opt-in database is an essential sales and relationship tool for ANY business. But what should this newsletter look like?

To cut your design costs, you should check out what other people are doing for some inspiration and best practice. I came across this great blog on email newsletter design at Campaign Monitor. It links to tonnes of great examples - and takes the time to explain why they link them.

Excellent for some "visual" inspiration. As for content, that's a whole other post!

Look for free listings on the web

I was reading an article about the extremely cute and clever Australian business Babybuds (those flowers are actually little singlets and jumpsuits!). As with all new businesses, they had little money to spend on marketing in the beginning, so they focussed on zero budget marketing ideas. One of these was looking for online communities or information websites where they could get a free listing.

Whilst there's a plethora of baby and kid information sites, there's also more than 100 million sites on the web. So start looking for ones that might provide a free listing for your business!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

All hail word of mouth...but give it time and deliver outstandingly

Without doubt, the one lesson I've learnt as a marketer, is that the BEST marketing tool of all is sometimes the most elusive - postitive word of mouth.

It takes an excellent product or service, passionate customers - and time.

The St Jerome's Laneway Festival is a beautiful case-study in word of mouth and buzz. Originally started as a one off party for a bar (St Jeromes) the owner - Jerome of course - knew that all he had to do was create something great...and be prepared to wait. Three years later, you've got a national festival, sponsors knocking at your door and still an event that people rave about.

Moral of today's story - it won't happen overnight, but be committed to both doing it well and letting it grow - and it WILL happen.

Good ideas don't need to blow your budget

I love a clever little 3-dimesional marketing piece. This one got me because it would be really cheap to do, esp if you've only got a small quantity of people to mail.

The concept has a long breadstick which when you pull it out, is "stamped" with a message proclaiming "Our new oven makes this look like a dinner roll". Clever, huh?

So what's your cost on this. Rubber stamp, paper, bread, your time to deliver. Say a couple of days and a few hundred dollars. Not bad for a big impact.

Of course, the tricky bit is the idea! So get cracking...

Aust Post cant compete on personalised communication

Sent to my work address this week was a cute little mailer from Australia Post. On the outside it said "To: Kimberly From: Santa" as part of the design. And it was a sales piece from Aussie Post crowing about the ability to personalise design...for as little as $1.40 each.

And I had to think - gee, that's actually expensive. You mail the 6,000 people on my dbase for example and it would cost you $8,400 - and that's BEFORE you design anything.

Compare this to the cost of a personalised html email. To email 6,000 people it costs me $60. $8,400 versus $60. Sorry, Aussie Post, just no contest. Even if I did have the dosh, I'd rather spend it on email. I could use telemarketing to build a list AND send it for the same budget...and then keep sending...

So the moral of the story is: get working on building your opt-in email database!