When you don’t have a big budget, marketing can be challenging, but there’s plenty a small business owner can do to attract and maintain a customer base. The rise in digital marketing has made it easier for small business owners to find a way to create a presence and attract informed buyers.
Time changes, technology evolves, and trends come and go – the marketing landscape is ever-evolving. Staying ahead of the curve can be difficult for small business owners trying to make their mark in markets that are becoming increasingly competitive. However, not all hope is lost – there are many classic marketing techniques still relevant today that can help you gain a strong foothold in your industry.
Before your business starts marketing a product, it helps to create a buyer persona whom you want to reach with your promotional materials. Once you have your ideal customer, you’ll have a wide choice of marketing methods. Most of these are low-cost or no-cost tactics (sometimes called guerrilla marketing). You may use different ones at different stages of your business cycle—or you may utilize them all at once from your business’ inception.
When you build a business, the first thing you want to secure is a customer base. Then, with a decent printer, a phone, and an internet-connected device, you can create a reasonably extensive advertising campaign without paying for digital space.
In this blog post, we will take a look at 7 popular marketing techniques from years past and explore how they remain applicable to small businesses in 2023. Read on to find out what tactics continue to provide successful results in modern times.
Creating eye-catching flyers can be a great way to market your business and get the word out about what you offer. Compelling visuals, persuasive copywriting, and efficient distribution techniques can help ensure that these promotional materials reach their intended audience.
This is the carpet-bombing method of cheap advertising. You find an area where you would like to do business and distribute flyers to all the mailboxes within reach. Your flyer should be brief and to the point, highlighting the services you offer or products you sell and providing contact information. Offering a free appraisal, coupon, or discount can help attract your first customers.
Flyers shouldn’t be mistaken for posters. Flyers are more informative, listing services or products provided, contact information, addresses, and specialties.
Need to get the word out about your business? Harness the power of Posters! An eye-catching poster can be an effective way to draw attention and engage potential customers. Maximize marketing efforts with this classic method – create appealing posters that showcase what makes your business special and make sure they’re placed in strategic locations for maximum visibility.
Most supermarkets, public spaces, and malls offer free bulletin board space for announcements and advertisements. This method is hit-or-miss, but you should try to make your poster visible and have removable tabs that the customers can present for a discount.
Posters should feature appealing images and catchy, memorable phrasing so viewers will recall it when they’re wondering where to go for whatever it is they need.
3. Value Additions
Capitalize on customer satisfaction and loyalty with Value Additions. There are many clever ways to maximize the impact of your business marketing strategy – through adding value for customers in creative, tangible forms that build trust, increase engagement levels and boost brand recognition.
Common value additions typically include:
• Discounts for repeat customers
• Point cards
• Referral rewards
The deciding factor for a customer choosing between two similar shops might be the one that offers a point card or preferred customer card. You don’t have to promise the moon to add value—instead, point out something that the customer may not realize about your product or service. It’s important to highlight the value additions when creating your advertising materials.
4. Referral Networks
Referral networks are invaluable to a business which often include customer referrals. These can be encouraged through discounts or other rewards per referral. However, referral networks also include business-to-business referrals. If you have ever found yourself saying, “We don’t do/sell that here, but X down the street does,” you might want to introduce yourself to Xs owner and talk to them about referral quid-pro-quo.
Connect with others in the industry to expand your business’ reach! Referral networks provide a great opportunity to leverage personal connections and grow your customer base. Take advantage of this powerful marketing tool today.
Advertising can help attract customers, but what you do after they come in can often be a much stronger marketing tool. Follow-up questionnaires are one of the best sources of feedback on how your ad campaign is going. Some questions you could ask are:
• Why did the customer choose your business?
• Where did they hear about it?
• Which other companies had they considered?
• What produced the most customer satisfaction?
• What was the least satisfying
Also, if your job involves going to the customer, make sure to slip a flyer into nearby mailboxes, as people of similar needs and interests tend to live in the same area.
6. Cold Calls
Unpleasant? Important? Yes, and yes.
Cold calling—whether over the phone or door to door—is a baptism of fire for many small businesses. Cold calling forces you to sell yourself as well as your business. If people can’t buy you (the person talking to them), they won’t buy anything from you.
Over the phone, you don’t have the benefit of a smile or face-to-face conversation—a phone is a license for some people to be as caustic and abrupt as possible (we are all guilty of this at one time or another). However, cold calling does make you think on your feet and encourages creativity and adaptability when facing potential customers.
Warm calls are an alternative to cold calls. You make calls to people you have already met or introduced yourself to through social events, email campaigns, or other activities.
7. The Internet
With the world at your fingertips, utilize The Internet to amplify your business’ reach and gain new customers. Establish an online presence by leveraging effective marketing strategies that are tailored for digital platforms – turning potential clients into engaged consumers of your product or service.
The importance of the internet in building a successful business cannot be overstated. Marketing methods have stayed pretty much the same across the last 50 years, except for the birth and rapid evolution of the internet. No company (even a local café) should be without, at the very least, a website with vital details such as location and hours. You need a point of access for everyone who searches the internet first when they want to make a buying decision.
As you can see, some of the most popular marketing techniques from a few years ago are still relevant and effective today. Although things change quickly in the world of marketing, these 7 methods continue to be influential for small businesses. What other popular marketing techniques have you used in your business?