Marketing is an essential ingredient for the success of any business. Producing quality products or service is one thing, but being able to convince consumers that it is worth their money is a different ballgame altogether. Organisations, even the most popular ones, are faced with the constant challenge of staying relevant in the minds of consumers and the threat of passing into oblivion.
While traditional ways of marketing products like media ads, hoardings and billboards are expensive and unaffordable to most mid-sized and small organisations, they also often end up missing the target audience altogether. This is where the need for innovative business promotion arises.
Organisations today, both startups and age-old companies, are trying to move beyond traditional ways of advertising and are constantly on the lookout for innovative and affordable ways to get themselves noticed.
Let’s look at some of the best and cheapest ways to do this:
Ever since the advent of popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, organisations have used them as a platform to make their presence felt. Social media is an apt way to reach out to millions of users across the globe in an instant and with little or no fee. From a multi-national company to a local shop, almost everyone has a page or a Twitter handle to interact with customers.
Another affordable way of reaching out to customers is by creating shareable content. The content created is not for advertisement but for educational purposes that doubles up as advertising in disguise. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral across the world is a great example of good content marketing. It not only caught the attention of people, but also served its purpose of creating awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and raise funds for research on a treatment method for the condition. Companies like P&G, Microsoft, Cisco, and Amul have all used content marketing with great success.
Multi-level marketing and referral programs
In the words of marketing guru Philip Kotler: “The best advertising is done by satisfied customers”, and invariably, word-of-mouth is cheaper. There is no better-assured way to success than the testimony of satisfied customers. Companies like Amway and Tupperware have converted word-of-mouth into a brilliant marketing strategy known as multi-level marketing wherein satisfied customers join a network chain and market the products to new customers and are rewarded handsomely for doing so. This involves little or no traditional advertisement.
With a starting price of $5 to $10 per day, it is not a bad idea to use Google Adwords or Facebook ads to reach out to customers. This can prove to be a very effective way of reaching out to target audience at a bare minimum cost.
Contests and freebies
Conducting contests and giving away freebies to winners is another easy way of being noticed. Mobile manufacturer One Plus often announces contests before the launch of its mobile phones and gives away mobile invites to winners. Such a strategy creates a lot of hype and publicity for the product.
Good advertising does not necessarily mean spending a lot of money. Creative thinking coupled with good understanding of the consumer’s psychology help organisations develop affordable and smart strategies to get themselves noticed.