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7 Cost-effective Marketing Tips
By Kathleen Gage
Companies often seek cost-effective, high-return strategies. They may be as close as your wallet or the business next door. Below are seven easy to apply strategies for virtually any business.

1. Business cards
Business cards are often one of the most underutilized tools in marketing. Use the front and back of your business card to gain full benefit. You can put valuable information on the back such as a sports schedule, emergency numbers, or special dates people want to remember.

Creatively distribute your card. When you eat out, leave one with the tip. If you borrow a library book, use one as a bookmark. Hand them to clerks in stores who may know other people who could use your product or service.

2. Send a picture
A great way to keep your name fresh in a customer’s mind is to send them a picture of when they purchased a product or service from you.

Put a picture of a buyer’s auto purchase in a beautiful calendar. Likely, the proud owner of the vehicle will display the calendar for the next 365 days.

For specialty gift shops, when a customer makes a substantial purchase, have a picture taken with the shop owner. Frame the picture and send it to the customer. Chances are very good the picture will be displayed proudly for friends and family to see.

A dentist who specializes in smile makeovers can easily arrange to have a professional makeup artist and photographer capture the patient’s beautiful new smile. No doubt the patient will be more than happy to show others their new look.

3. Associations
Associations relevant to your market are a great resource for marketing. There are associations specific to virtually any industry, job type or business. A quick web search will show you how many associations exist in your market.

Most organizations have the following opportunities that can help you to gain visibility and do some very effective marketing:

-Newsletters
-Internet listings
-Links to your website
-Discounted advertising rates
-Networking opportunities
-Business referral services
-Special recognition events
-Educational seminars
-Business and membership directories

4. Committee involvement
Committee involvement is a great way to give back to an association or community while building visibility for you and your business. In some cases, you may want to get involved in a committee where you have little experience or knowledge. This will give you an opportunity to stretch yourself and meet and network with individuals you may not have otherwise had the chance to meet.

5. Contests and drawings
Contests

are a favorite for many businesses with high foot traffic, such as a restaurant. Contests are a great way to build your database quickly. You will generate very hot leads when you have a contest with people who have already frequented your place of business. The key to making this work is to do follow up with back-end marketing. Far too many businesses hold contests, get lots of names and do nothing with them.

You can advertise a contest to gain new foot traffic in your place of business. Be sure to check local ordinances for any restrictions on holding a contest.

6. Cross-promoting
Join with other companies who have products or services that compliment yours and promote each other. A landscaping company can cross-promote with an outdoor spa company. A real estate company could easily cross-promote with a mortgage lender. A hair salon with a tanning salon.

Cross-promoting can considerably cut down the cost of business promotion and allow each business to use promotion techniques that might be too costly to implement alone.

7. Bonuses
Secure special offers from various businesses who share a similar market. When a customer buys a minimum amount they would receive a bonus packet with various offers from the other vendors. This creates a win/win situation all the way around. The other vendors gain visibility, you have something extra to offer your customers and the customers get an incredible value for their purchase.

Marketing does not have to be expensive nor does it have to be mundane. The possibilities are merely limited by imagination and your willingness to implement them.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleJoe.com

Kathleen Gage is a business advisor and trainer specializing teaching clients cost effective, high return strategies. She is the author of “Street Smarts and Promotions”, “Street Smarts Making Money with the Internet” and “The Law of Achievement..” Kathleen Gage is also an award winning inspirational keynote speaker for conferences and conventions. Visit her site at www.kathleengage.com.


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