Use Low-Cost Marketing to Outwit the Competition
Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.
By: Denny Durbin
Posted on: 12/18/2008



 

The competition grows greater every day as new businesses pop up on every corner and online shopping becomes more of a mainstream point of purchase. Business owners across the country strive to come up with new ideas to outwit their competition. The first thing they may consider is slashing prices, but any seasoned business owner knows that prices are only part of the equation.

Whether dealing with first-time customers or repeat buyers, all managers should know that although price is one of the considering factors of a well-researched product, savvy buyers also take into consideration these important facts:

How they arrived at your facility in the first place. You’re doing something right in your marketing strategy for them to consider renting from you. This is the starting point for tracking successful marketing—find out how they heard about you.

The branding of your facility will help the customer make a final decision. That means getting your name out there. Join the chamber of commerce, attend community events or sponsor the local little league team.

Your staff is the most valuable marketing asset you have. Go the extra mile for them, and they’ll put in the additional effort to keep your customers happy. Taking care of your employees means more than just handing out a paycheck. Each one is a key part of a team, a business and the community. Treat them well and praise them every day and you will be paving the road to success. Your managers are the biggest marketing advantage over your competition. Here are some valuable tips to keep your team at the top of their game:

  • Treat them like you want them to treat your customers.
  • Make sure they are passionate about their work.
  • Teach them the value of a smile for every customer.
  • Last impressions are as valuable as first impressions.

Your Marketing Campaign
Once you uncover where most of your existing customers come from, it’s easier to target additional customers with similar demographics. If your customers hear about you from advertisements on the local radio, in the newspaper, magazine or trade journal, you should consider investing more in that media.  

If your customers are finding out about the facility via your website or even your street presence, then that’s the target audience in which you should focus. When branding your facility, it’s rare that all your customers come from one form of advertising or marketing. A well planned and widespread marketing campaign can make a huge difference.

Incentives and motivation are the main ingredients to bringing new customers through your door. Stop and put yourself in the customers’ position. Ask yourself, Why would I choose this facility over the one down the street? What problem does it solve? What are the benefits?

Another good marketing strategy is to use incentives. See if the local coffee shop, restaurant or another retailer will give you a discount on a bulk purchase of gift cards. One of the most popular gift cards today is a gas card. It’s easy to get creative about free gifts, just think about what your customers might enjoy.

Or take a handful of fun-loving people, add some bright colored T-shirts with your business logo, then send them around the neighborhood to promote your facility. They can visit other businesses, malls, restaurants, car dealerships—you name it.

Two things to remember: First, always get permission from the business owners; often they will like the idea, because it makes them look like they’re part of it. Second, hand out coupons or other incentives to motivate people to visit your facility.

The key to a successful marketing campaign is testing and tracking until you find out which method garners the most customers. Then capitalize on that idea. Good marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot, but should always be creative.
 
Denny Durbin is an entrepreneur and author of “Lazy Enchiladas, Redefining Success,” which explains the values of taking risks, assessing success and adding creativity to a career. Durbin has created, built and owned more than a dozen diversified and lucrative business. He has more than 30 years of networking experience. For more information, visit www.lazyenchiladas.com.