When you’re in business, every dollar counts, and, counts big. Revenue is useful for many purposes, particularly those which propel your company forward. You choose where you spend your money wisely, and, always look to get a solid return on investment. This is why you are careful about your hires and day-to-day operations because these are the very backbone of your organization.
Of course, one of the ways to grow a company is to make more potential customers aware of what you offer. That can be tricky, especially when you have a strict limitation on the amount you can spend. Therefore, you do what you can to ensure that those dollars are working to get you more work and not just go out the door without coming back in the form of new business.
Don’t Waste Money on These Marketing Channels
Because we live in an age of on-demand information, there are more channels available than ever before to market through. It starts with you and your team, and, your website and social media presence are all essential. Though the latter two are very much used and highly popular, you have to remember that these are just tools.
Even during lean times, companies spend a lot of money on marketing, hoping that the spending will result in future sales. Unfortunately, marketing is one of those areas where it’s really easy to waste money. —Inc.com
A cottage industry emerged with the solidification of social media and is now a multi-million dollar industry. Traditional marketing remains an option, as does other forms of spreading the word. While you ought to be as ubiquitous as possible, there are marketing channels that are just a waste of money. Here are some things you ought to avoid because of their poor return on investment:
- Internet marketing courses. These courses are supposed to instruct you on how to market your business online. The cost isn’t really the issue, but the amount of time you’ll spend learning how to do it and then trying to implement it is an exercise in frustration and futility.
- Vendor-focused trade shows. Renting a booth or table at vendor-focused trade shows is often a very expensive proposition. This might be worth it if potential customers were also in attendance. However, because these are typically closed to the public, you’ll only be exposing your business to others in business, even in the same industry, meaning your competition.
- Suggested content. When you’re reading an article, you’ll see titles related to what appears in front of you. Those aren’t there by way of magic, but through ad dollars paid by companies to get you to click through and be redirected to another page.
- Search engine marketing. This one is something that very few people are able to get results through because of the sheer amount of money it costs to make it worthwhile. Even if you have a large marketing budget, you don’t control where your ads appear, how often they appear, and your ads will be in a crowded space filled with competitors fighting for the same attention.
- Market research. This can be outdated and/or skewed to bolster a certain, predetermined conclusion. What’s more, you have no real way of validating all the information these contain.
Another thing you probably should avoid is mailing lists. These name and address compilations can easily be outdated, and, it takes a lot of time and effort to put a mass mailing together. What’s more, the response rate is very small, only between 1 percent and 2 percent. Some firms claim as much as 4 percent, but that’s still quite low.
The smart way to get your brand noticed is to build personal relationships.
One of my favorite equations to illustrate my point is how to build Trust. People buy from you if the like you and trust you. The only way to Trust, is by building a Relationship, and the only way to build a Relationship is through Communication. Not by e-mail or text or even phone calls, but by interacting personally with your prospects. Through this personal interaction and Communication, you build a Relationship, and in building the Relationship, you earn the prospective customer’s Trust. Once you have their Trust … assuming you’re likeable … you will have the sale!
So, a low cost way to market and grow your business is to build Trusted Relationships, and watch your business grow. It takes time, but how badly do you want to succeed with your business? You can do more to sell your products and services because you know all the information. Invest time into networking, mentoring, and volunteering because these are all worthwhile.