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Thread: Small business marketing

  1. #1
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Small business marketing

    So we have got to the point in our new business where we have accumulated some spare funds which we want to allocate fully to marketing (bearing in mind Red Giant is only 3 months old). As soon as our website is complete (very nearly there) we are going to begin with full fledged marketing.

    What I would like to find out from you is what your opinion is on the most effective ways to spend this money (+- 10k) in order to market a small business. Let's keep in mind that we are in the design (web, corporate, photography) industry and it's an extremely saturated market.

    What we have in mind at the moment is the following:

    1. Facebook advertising. Great since it is able to target our ideal customers specifically, and we have an awesome special to market to them. This is on top of my list at the moment.

    2. Marketing Motor. This program comes highly recommended by Dave and Neville. I'm interested in trying it out, HOWEVER I am not so sure whether it would be as effective in our overcrowded niche. It does help that we aren't just "web designers" and that we target a specific niche within the industry, being small businesses and entrepreneurs.

    3. Pamphlet promotions. Not so sure on the effectiveness of this approach. If we did decide to do it, it would be a full fledged thing at a busy street corner/shopping mall with promotion girls and big signs and a lot of hype, rather than some random walking around lackadaisically handing out flyers here and there.


    We do have other ideas but these are the main ones, bearing in mind our budget and target market. We are also wanting to target South Africans, and more specifically, South African business owners at the moment.

    Do you guys have any better ideas or comments on the above ideas? I'd just like to make sure that I'm spending our limited funding wisely rather than using a shotgun approach to marketing.

    Perhaps you have better methods for marketing small businesses which are low-cost, yet effective methods for bringing in new leads?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You're certainly laying some groundwork with your online activities, so I'm thinking about what you could try offline.

    Grab a yellow pages, pick niche industries, Google the company's name to see what their current exposure is, and then phone the ones you think you could help, maybe?
    I'd think top prize would be big yellow pages spenders with no detectable online presence.

    Once you've refined the drill, then hire someone to do the tele-canvassing.

    Just a thought.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave. I have actually drawn up a whole marketing plan dealing with our marketing procedures in both the short and long term. It does include cold calling and such things. What I'm trying to do is "kick start" the business with some form of paid advertising. Basically, I want to get Red Giant out in front of as many potential customers in as little time as possible.

    I know that I'm not going to see amazing results immediately, but while we have the funds available I want to make us of them to advertise effectively in conjunction with our "free" advertising efforts such as cold-calling, emailing etc.

    Essentially I'm asking what the best way to utilize R10k worth of marketing money would be. I see that Marketing Motor isn't accepting any new clients at the moment, but that they have another program running called Sales Motor. At $299 though, it seems a bit steep. Makes me wonder whether they cost-benefit ratio would be favourable.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Atkinson View Post
    I see that Marketing Motor isn't accepting any new clients at the moment, but that they have another program running called Sales Motor. At $299 though, it seems a bit steep. Makes me wonder whether they cost-benefit ratio would be favourable.
    Giving your segment, I'm not sure they'd take you on with their sales motor deal anyway. It's a full service package and they have already turned away would-be clients where they see problems in producing a healthy ROI.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Mark give google adwords a try since you prepay you can limit your spend but you need a website to point to. Pamphlets are like ads you need to touch customers 8 times to be effective.
    Another thing which works is competitions to get prospects contacts with 10K you could offer an Ipad. Something like best tagline wins an Ipad.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Giving your segment, I'm not sure they'd take you on with their sales motor deal anyway. It's a full service package and they have already turned away would-be clients where they see problems in producing a healthy ROI.
    Well I have sent them an email asking for an honest opinion on whether or not they would be able to do anything worthwhile for us. Either way, I'd be interested to hear their views.

    Quote Originally Posted by IanF
    Mark give google adwords a try since you prepay you can limit your spend but you need a website to point to.
    Google Adwords is already in the marketing strategy. The problem, however, is finding keywords that aren't that competitive within our niche in order to run a cost-effective campaign. We've tried a campaign before for our original web design venture. We targeted a bunch of the most competitive keywords around and needless to say, the campaign failed miserably. This time around I will be sure to go about the campaign slightly more intelligently.

    Also, although I think your suggestion for giving away something like an iPad has merit, I don't think it's viable at this time. You need a pretty big following on Facebook/Twitter to get something like that going Viral. Even then, people often just participate for the prize and then forget all about your business thereafter. In other words, it doesn't target a segment of the market in particular.

    Whenever I think of giving away a prize via a competition, I always think of the opportunity cost. Let's just say my thoughts generally get the better of me.
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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Just spent about 40 minutes on the phone with Peter Curruthers from Marketing Motor. He seems to be of the opinion that the Marketing Motor program could work for us. He said they are reopening the program next week.

    Had a fascinating discussion with him regarding how we might go about successfully marketing a business in our field. I think we will probably give the program a run and see how we go from there.
    "The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates
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    Email problem BryanCasson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Atkinson View Post
    We targeted a bunch of the most competitive keywords around and needless to say, the campaign failed miserably
    Yes, Google will not just let you target any bunch of competitive keywords. You can however get all the keywords you want with a proper strategy and a proper Adwords Manager. Adwords is almost always cost effective if you have a professional doing the work.
    Bryan Casson: SEO Expert & Owner of Casson Media
    "Google or Bing...... um what is Bing?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Atkinson View Post
    This time around I will be sure to go about the campaign slightly more intelligently.
    Mark, I hope you share your knowledge, and won't mind to let me know how you'll go about deciding your keywords more intelligent then last time. Maybe I should review mine.

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    Oh, and please let us know how it went with Marketing Motor

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