Get Your Plan Started . . .
*Research your target audience
*Utilize low-cost tools and techniques
*Integrate marketing and business plans
*Calculate a marketing budget
Understand Why People Buy . . .
*Show benefits versus features
*Emphasize what you deliver, not how
*Create desire for your product
*Market your competitive advantages
Research Effectively . . .
*Discover how to collect industry data
*Define your target market's profile
*Calculate a customer's lifetime value
Implement a Marketing Plan . . .
*Formulate market positioning
*Determine "A," "B," and "C" clients
*Conduct market audits
Create Impressive Marketing Materials…
*Direct mail materials
*Brochures and advertising pieces
Tight budget? No problem! Streetwise® Low-Cost Marketing has plenty of effective techniques, tools, and tactics that are just right for your budget. Exhaustively researched and packed with resources, Streetwise® Low-Cost Marketing shows you how to create buzz with exceptional customer service, strong promotional materials, and money-saving ideas that get maximum results.
Mark Landsbaum, a former award-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter, has operated his own marketing communications business since 1995. He also runs the Small Business Resource Web site, which features more than 500 pages of how-to articles on subjects such as business management, marketing, Internet commerce, and publicity. Mr. Landsbaum lives in Diamond Bar, CA.
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1 - The Overriding Principle: "What's in it for me?"
Do you know when your marketing is effective? When your company is profitable.
The most expensive type of marketing is marketing that doesn't work. It may be mis-targeted, poorly executed, badly conceived or just lame-brained. In the worst case, it is marketing that spends more money than it makes. But marketing that breaks even is also expensive because even though it pays for itself, it generates no profits. It treads water. That means the money that was spent on marketing could have been spent profitably in other revenue-generating ways like hiring more sales staff, modernizing equipment or partnering with complimentary businesses.
So, in a very real sense, even if your marketing budget breaks even - that is, it brings in as many dollars as its spends - it is still a balance sheet loser because it is money that could have been used better in other, more profitable ways.
If you have money to burn and your bottom line is irrelevant, you can close this book now. For the rest of you, the first and most important way to view your marketing strategy is the way you view production, distribution, management and every other aspect of your business. It must be profitable.
Clearly then expensive marketing is marketing that generates no profits. So, it follows that inexpensive marketing is marketing that makes more money for the company than it costs.
Conceivably, inexpensive marketing also can be very costly, as contradictory as that may sound. It can be costly in that it may "cost" a lot money to do it. In other words, the marketing technique, tactic or tool requires a lot of money to implement, but still is inexpensive in the grand scheme because it pays for itself plus a profit. A $50,000 marketing campaign that generates millions of dollars in sales certainly should be viewed as "inexpensive" in light of its huge return on investment, even though $50,000 is a lot of money to spend.
There is a third way to view marketing costs. Some might call it "cheap" marketing. But "cheap" does not really capture the essence of this approach. "Cheap" connotes not only inexpensive, but something of little value. But that is not the case here. A better way to view this type of marketing is that it not only generates profits, but it costs few dollars to implement. It's the best of both worlds. We call it low-cost marketing. Profitable, but not costly.
For small businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups, solo-practitioners, indeed, for the 95 percent of American businesses that have fewer than 100 employees, this kind of marketing is often the key to success. It is a profit center that for a relatively modest investment reaps disproportionately high returns. In fact, low-cost marketing always can be better than the inexpensive, yet "costly" (that is, of little value) variety. If you could make the same profit by spending $50,000 or $500, which would you prefer? Why tie up more of your capital than necessary when it could be used in other profitable ventures?
Massive multinational corporations can afford to gamble on "costly" marketing, the kind that requires a really fat checkbook. If this big-bucks, very costly marketing turns out also to be expensive (profitless) big corporations can generally absorb the loss, or hope to make it up on their next costly campaign.
But the rest of us do not have the luxury of being able to afford to spend big bucks for no profit. For us, low-cost marketing is the reasonable, cost-wise, affordable route to success. The thing to keep in mind is that this approach is "low-cost," but not cheap. That means it not only spends fewer dollars, but it also generates profits. It is not enough to merely keep the marketing budget low. And it must be profitable.
The surest way to be unprofitable is to violate basic tenets of marketing.
Allow me to introduce the most common violator of the first basic tenet of marketing: Mr. Obnoxious. You may have met him at a dinner party, or at a ball game. Or perhaps it was milling around after church, or at a neighborhood picnic. He's the fellow whose number one topic is himself. Indeed, he is the only thing in which he is interested. He doesn't much care what your interests are because he is his own favorite subject. When he approaches, you reflexively turn away and pretend not to see him. You search frantically to find someone else - anyone else - to talk with. You may even flee. Such is the indisputably repulsive nature of the self-absorbed.
Mr. Obnoxious is the guy who gives rise to that involuntary deep sigh and that abject sense of resignation that sweeps over you when he finally manages to back you into a corner, cutting off all avenues of polite retreat and yammers on and on about his favorite subject - himself. He's the last person with whom you want to spend time, and the time you are forced to spend with him is wholly agonizing.
The reason is obvious for your very natural adverse reaction to Mr. Obnoxious: his overriding interest is something in which you have not the least bit of interest. Frankly, you'd prefer that he talk about a topic that you are interested in. A topic like… well yes, a topic like you.
If you've ever met Mr. Obnoxious, and we all have, you discovered first-hand the indomitable rule that underpins all marketing:
Talk about yourself and you end up talking to yourself. Talk about the other person and suddenly you have the undivided attention of an enthralled audience.
Table of ContentsSection One: Low-cost, High-profit Fundamentals
Chapter 1: "What's In It For Me?"
Chapter 2: AIDA & USP - Formulas for Success
Chapter 3: Benefits Versus Features
Chapter 4: Test and Track Continually
Chapter 5: Repeat Customers
Section Two: Planning for Success
Chapter 6: It's as Easy as 1, 2, 3
Chapter 7: Research Sharpens Focus
Chapter 8: Marketing plan
Chapter 9: Implement the Marketing Plan
Chapter 10: Ask and Listen
Section Three: Proven (But Often Neglected) Solutions
Chapter 11: Soft Stuff - People-Oriented Marketing
Chapter 12: Hard Stuff - Marketing Collateral
Chapter 13: Conceptual Stuff - The Psychological Edge
Chapter 14: (Relatively) Low-Cost Advertising