Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Check these out online for some inspiration

Being all about "zero budget" means educating yourself constantly...and thanks to the web you can do this for nicks. It can be hard to wade through WHAT is worth reading, but here's a few worth signing up for / following online.

http://www.clickz.com/: These newsletters are online marketing gold. If only I had time to read all of them, all of the time.

http://mashable.com/ : Mashable is the world's largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Networking news.

http://www.ipsosmediact.com/knowledge/ : Ranking third worldwide in survey research turnover, Ipsos specialise in five areas of research: Advertising, Loyalty, Marketing, MediaCT, and Public Affairs. The online knowledge centre contains tonnes of info, case studies and free report summaries.

http://www.sendupalargerroom.com/ : Original marketing/consumer behavious Aussie blog by lead strategist for Carat Sydney.

(List inspired by article by Lee Stephens "Finding Gold Among the Spammers" from AdNews - 10 April, 2009)

Have you tried this with Google Adwords?

I've played around with Google Adwords with several of my clients, with mixed results.

Adwords are a great tool if enough people are looking for what you have to sell. But when you're selling something people might NOT be searching for, you have to think a bit more creatively about how to get their attention and hopefully entice them to visit your site.

One thing as marketers we DO know is that the web is used early on in a buying cycle. Consumer and Business buyers use it to research the category they're interested, often a while in advance of actual intent to purchase.

So you might get them browsing, but getting them to visit your site and BUY is the trickiest part.

So I thought I'd trial a bit of "old school" DM using this "new school" medium and ran the voucher ad below recently...

I linked it to a landing page that explained the offer - and included a promotional code to enter if they chose to join the service. My rationale was, if people were "tyre kicking" already, this might get them over the line.
In the first four weeks of running this little advert, SIX people joined the service using this promotional code.
At a cost of around about 60 cents per sign up [not including time for my creative brilliance of course :) ].
Now to understand whether six is a lot, you need to think about what each customer is worth.
For this service based business every customer means in the vicinity of $600 a year.
At 60 cents to attract, this makes a whopping ROI on this advertisment 1000%
If only all our marketing gave such a great return!
Now, I don't have the goose that laid the golden egg just yet. I'll have that when I can get 100 customers to buy using this offer.
But I'm off to a great (zero budget) start.
Why don't you try it for your business and let me know how you go!

The dog ate my homework - cheap marketing idea for tradies

...yes, I've been very bad and haven't blogged in AGES.

My only excuse has been a lack of inspiration - luckily I passed a little gem the other day that has got my lazy butt back in action.

So what did I see?

A bit of common sense thinking that isn't so common.

It was an electrician's van. It wasn't particularly flash, looking like a small operation. The branding on the van itself wasn't even that attractive.

So what caught my eye?

The branding on the front of the van - the part you'd see in your rear vision mirror - had the company name, phone number and website printed "back to front".

Which means, in your rear vision mirror, you'd be able to read it.

I love this little "big idea". It's a case of really making sure every cent you have to spend is spent in the smartest way possible. Because I'm sure this van gets more people stuck in traffic checking it out than it ever does parked at individual jobs in suburban streets.

(And I don't even has to wonder if anyone ever actually CALLS a number they see written on a van. I know someone does - because I've done it. It was how I got my cleaner of 4 years.)

So next time you're doing some marketing the way you've "always done it", stop and ask yourself if you should be rethinking anything? Use the back of your business cards to explain what you do. Ensure your signage is able to be read by those you want to read it. Structure your website in a way that makes sense to customers, not just to you.

Making your (zero) budget work for you, means ensuring everything is done as smartly as possible.