Short answer, No. Long answer, Definitely! Allow me to elaborate.
Think of businesses like Coca Cola, IBM, Budweiser, and GM. These brands could feed small countries with their ad budgets, and they regularly blow a million dollars in days worth of advertising. Compare that to a $10,000 a year marketing budget of small business and it’s a little trickier to figure out where to put your money. Large companies can roll out a $10 million campaign that spans 2 months without blinking an eye. Small businesses have heated discussions over whether or not they should give out pencils with there name on it this year. Small businesses need efficient, consistent doses of marketing in order to build their brand, but it can definitely be done. Small businesses just don’t have the money to launch big marketing campaigns for individual product launches. Does that mean they shouldn’t bother marketing? Not at all. There are VERY effective ways to market your business that don’t include the big 3: TV, Radio, and Print.
This is where innovative, creative thinking comes into play. It’s all about attention, and getting your small business lots of it!
Think of this scenario. You have $500 to spend on marketing a new product for your business. You can use it on whatever you want; TV, radio, website development, brochures…anything. What would you do?
Would you have the radio station create a cheap 15-second commercial that you can run 6 times over two days? Or how about getting 200 brochures printed, that you will have to mail yourself because you won’t have enough to get them mailed? You know what, you could get a cheap website made for about $500 explaining all about our product.
Or, maybe you take $200 and run Facebook Ads that say “First 60 people to walk through our doors get $5 cash. No strings.” Then when those people walk into your door you hand them $5 and say “you know what, if you spend that $5 on our new product, that came out today, we will give you an extra $10 off your next purchase of anything in the store”. BOOM! Because most people can’t pass up a deal, you are likely to make a sale, AND that person now has a reason to come back. You did this all for $500 and people are now going to go tell their friends that “this business I went into today gave me $5 cash to shop at their store!”.
Value-added? Check. Word-of-mouth? Check. Repeat customers? Check. Effective brand-building? Double-check.