It seems to be a constant refrain from the many business owners and managers: “We just don’t have the money to market the business.”
My question to them is, “How do you expect to make sales if you don’t market your business?”
Yes, word-of-mouth is a wonderful, free marketing tool; the one most of these business owners cite as their marketing strategy. Lev Promotions’ growth over the 16 years we’ve been in business has been strongly related to word-of-mouth referrals.
That being said, are these people seriously expecting their satisfied clients to make it their life’s mission to market someone else’s company? Let’s face it, people are much more likely to spontaneously erupt into a diatribe about an awful experience with a business rather than a positive one. Unless someone is specifically asking for a referral for what you do or sell, even your most satisfied clients are probably not going around shouting your contact information from the rooftops.
Every business should be putting at least 2% of revenues into marketing. Yes, I know it can be difficult, and if 2% is absolutely not doable, then do something – $150/month can get you an inexpensive direct mailing to at at least 100 people, or it might buy you some time with a marketing consultant; put that $150/month aside for a few months and now you can invest in a table top show, promotional products, a targeted ad, a better sign, some serious work with a marketing consultant and other options.
You can chose to see marketing as an expense. If your marketing strategies don’t work, then that is exactly what they are. However, when they are carefully thought out and planned with the desired outcome and target market always top of mind, marketing can show absolute ROI/ROO and that’s an investment in business growth.