Marketing on a Budget

by : Mohamed Rabea

Just because you have to stretch your marketing dollars doesn't mean their effectiveness will decrease. The easiest marketing solution is often to simply throw money at a problem. But that is rarely the most effective. When Businesses are forced to use creativity and ingenuity to market on a budget, that is when some of the best results happen.

There are always going to be rough times in any business. But those who throw money at their marketing problems instead of finding alternative means will find themselves in a tough financial situation.

Here are a few cheap and easy marketing methods that won't drain your bank account:

1. Learn to barter. Not every price is fixed. For instance, TV and radio time that goes unsold is wasted forever, so stations will usually accept offers below their normal rates.

2. Create your own marketing materials with desktop publishing programs. These programs are easy to learn and use, so after a few hours of study, you'll know your way around well enough to create simple marketing materials. If you aren't confident in your design skills, find a sample piece to model yours after. In the marketing world, looking over someone else's shoulder for the right answer is permissible.

3. Get a toll-free number. Although long distance rates are more affordable than ever, most people will still hesitate to call a long distance number. If you have a toll free number, there is nothing standing between you and your potential customers.

4. Buy smaller print ads and run them consistently. In the end, the repetitive printing of your ads will elicit more results than running a few large, impressive ads.

5. Buy cable TV ads. Now anyone, no matter how tight their budget, can advertise on television. Cable rates are incredibly cheap and you can even target your commercials to specific parts of the city.

6. Get the cell phone package with the most minutes and give your number to everyone. When customers can get a hold of you anytime of the day or night, you can connect to more person-to-person sales.

7. Don't sacrifice your image by accepting shoddy production or design. A shoddy advertisement gives you a shoddy image. Continue to hire professionals to design your ads, but shop around for the best prices. Hire a professional designer to create a visual format, then hire a lower-cost designer to do your follow-up ads with the original as a guide