Monday, July 23, 2007

Brains over brawn gets me every time

The site recently published a story about a launch that is a reminder that a really great idea doesn't need to cost a bundle to implement.
It could even cost as little as a few coloured packs of post-it notes.
"Hot on the heels of this fad, gaming giant Nintendo have promoted their latest baby Wii in Italy with this interesting wall display created by a series of posted notes. The post it notes make a nice 3D representation of a 2D pixel. "
Gee, that's a clever idea...I'm sure the agency charged a bundle for it, but what's to stop you coming up with your own version of this gem? Go on, get creative!

If anything but free is too expensive...

I was advising a landscape designer the other day - a one-man band, country based - who would like a website but was finding the prospect of putting one together as a big job.

I asked who might use the site, and it was really only people who had been referred to him, so it was a place he wanted to showcase his work.

Like most of us, he didn't have a big budget handy to pay someone to do the site. And though I recommended a number of great third-party providers than would be quite cheap - under $1k for the whole lot, content management, hosting and even a custom design - it still sounded like a lot to him.

So I thought a great place to start was with something like this - a blog. Blogging has gone far beyond the concept of an Internet diary and has moved into the realm of a great potential - and search engine friendly - business tool.
You can bit some great design templates through the various blog sites out there. We found a lovely, semi-abstract plant one for him. You can use free add ons, like zookoda, to allow people to subscribe to your blog or conduct email marketing. You can upload pictures of your jobs and tell the stories about how they're created. You can add your business profile and your contact details. You can even buy a cheap .com of your own (TPP Internet will sell you one for two years for around $70) and automatically re-route it to your blog's domain, so it gives the appearance of a stand alone site.

So if your actual level of investment available to build a website is ZERO, give a blog a go!

Selective advertising + targeting = low cost lead generation

Sometimes a little bit of regular advertising may be just what a business needs to keep awareness up or leads flowing in. But advertising is too expensive, isn't it?

Well, not always. I was recently reminded of this when buying 10 spots on Melbourne's Triple RRR -for around $500, including the ad's production. Now 10 spots over a month isn't much - but if the audience is targted enough, this won't necessarily matter. These ads, over 3 months, have continued to bring in 3-4 customers a month for my client - which covers more than the aquisition cost - plus it has the benefit of spreading awareness among others who may join in the future.

Another option I've used with success before was a small print advertisement in one of Melbourne's gay/lesbian papers. It was for a small laser hair removal studio. Now the first thing most people think of when thinking hair removal is girls. But we didn't have the budget for advertising in female glossies. So it came down to thinking about who else is looks conscious and living around South Yarra? The small and inexpensive weekly ads - again including production - generated MOST of their business from then on.

So if you've got a targeted product or service, there may be a relatively inexpensive media vehicle out there that YOU may not consume, but that your target audience does.