The Power of Generating Low-Cost Promotional Ideas: A Fight-Back Strategy

In this rough and tumble economy, some business people sit, like frogs in a pot immobilised with the water temperature rising. Even when the temperature hits boiling point, they remain in the pot. If the frogs suddenly stumbled into the pot of boiling water, they wouldn’t hesitate to jump right out. Why then don’t small business people react quickly when they recognize warning signs?

Many business people seem to stubbornly believe that they can rough it through the difficult economy doing business in the same familiar way, despite turnovers in some cases plummeting by a third or more. Small business has such a high mortality rate in “normal” economic conditions but when economic activity declines, the mortality rate rises.

Riding high and spending less

During the good times small business owners were riding high. They spent less on their marketing as customers walked in and bought whatever they wanted. Small business owners were spoilt as they had to do little personal selling or advertising.

Now, when times are tough and small business owners and entrepreneurs are more concerned with meeting personnel expenses and covering overheads they are even more reluctant to spend money on promotion. Yet clients and customers are holding onto their cash, waiting for times improve, hanging onto their homes, cars, computers, household appliances for longer, repairing them instead of replacing them.What should store owners and small service businesses do?

Ignore selling and promotion at your peril

Even though small business owners have seen turnovers drop many are wary of spending money on promotion. Some are trying to play it cheap by bringing in well meaning family and friends to help them promote their products and services. Other owners knuckle down on the technical areas and processes in their business, ignoring selling and promotion at their peril.Promotional ideas need to work

Little do those businesses who use retail space or have high visibility and walk-in customers realise that if they don’t do something to promote their business and lift sales, they will be forced into operating the business from home to chop overhead. Running a business from home ironically means needing to acquire a whole set of new marketing skills.

How do you go about promoting your business in a stormy economy where every cent counts? Small businesses and entrepreneurial enterprises cannot pour vast sums on vague institutional (image) advertising with no way to measure sales. Entrepreneurs need to generate sales – even when advertising in traditional print media, adverts have to be “keyed” and have special phone numbers specific to adverts. This way they can measure their advertising conversion. A small travel agent told me recently that she had a separate phone number for each advert to measure response. If the newspaper, magazine, radio or television advertising didn’t pull, it had to go.

Test, test, test

Promotional ideas that work are specific to each business and the mind or emotional triggers of their customers. Small business owners need to brainstorm ideas that they think will work for their business. Try some no-cost, low-cost ideas out first and see how they work. Remember to test, test, test. As Claude Hopkins said, “Almost any question can be answered, cheaply, quickly and finally, by a test campaign.”

To get fighting fit in this economy small business owners and entrepreneurs need to focus their attention on attracting customers to their business through a variety of low-cost, no-cost promotional ideas. Idea generation techniques can be effective as can meeting with fellow business people to share and swop ideas. Look at what your competitors are doing and try to spot other businesses that seem to be doing well no matter how hard the harsh economic winds blow.

Cost-Effective Online Product Promotion

Within the context of an Internet revolution, online promoting is probably the most powerful tool available to you. Any successful book must make use of online media to boost sales. If you are a writer or any other creative, you might want to personally take control of your publicity or kiss some great potential revenue goodbye.

David Louis Edelman, the author of ‘Infoquake (The Jump 225 Trilogy)’, is one of many innovative authors who has taken on the task of personal book promotion. He has effectively used the internet as a marketing tool, costing him only time and effort.

Here are a few quick tips that Edelman offers on how to promote the sales of your title using the internet:

oStart a blog well before the release of your book and begin consciously trying to write about topics that will hopefully garner you an audience.

oMake an active effort to hunt down any interview opportunity. Approach websites like Barnes & Noble Explorations, John Scalzi’s By the Way blog, and Suite101.com.

oMake use of your current social media sites i.e. MySpace and Facebook, and seek friends with interests in the genre of your book.

If taking on the pressure of marketing your book personally, is something you could do without, it may be a good idea for you to make use of an online service. International promotional companies offer various marketing packages. You could pay anywhere between $10 for a mention on a website for one week, to several thousand dollars for a larger scale online promotional package.

The only downside, apart from forking out hefty bundles of cash, is that these promotional packages don’t let you see exactly how your product is doing. One company, RankTracer, allows you to see how your product is faring while simultaneously promoting and marketing it online – giving you the best of both worlds!

Creative Promotional T-Shirts

T-Shirts are frequently utilized for promotional reasons due to their creative prospects. Promotional t-shirts are essentially empty mediums to articulate your imaginative and inventive side. Whether you operate a Company that offers precise products and/or services, you can have an artistic t-shirt to endorse that. As an example, you can fashion a classic “I (heart) NY” style t-shirt using your product or Company logo. You’d be amazed how many individuals will relish getting those shirts as promotional gifts.

Getting creative with promotional t-shirts is now very easy. With technology making it much simpler to endorse products and ideas to a larger masses of the public, it has become more complex for businesspeople or organization leaders to garner the interest of sponsors or clients due to the vast numbers of advertisements prevalent. As a consequence, the call for creative promotional ideas is bigger than ever before. Although there is a multitude of creative ideas that one might utilize, it is best to begin with the most inexpensive and simplest so that profit margins stays high and constant.

Logos on promotional t-shirts are graphic blueprints that symbolize an organization or Company. It is a frequent practice for businesspeople and organization leaders to use these logos on correspondence and company/organization documents, but it is also good to extend the use of logos to other items. For example, you might place your logo prominently on some T-shirts, which you then could give away as prizes at your organization’s functions.

Interesting designs are everywhere if you pay enough attention. Some can be really deceptively-simple looking yet possess the power to send out a strong message across to the mass public. T-shirts are part of our everyday lives, and almost everyone owns a few at least. Hence, plenty of Companies are conveying specific advertising t-shirts to promote the public’s awareness of their services and products. Instead of regular logo t-shirts, some advertisement t-shirts are really thought-provoking and eye-catching.

It is easy to recognize trends with the emergence of many websites specifically spotting what is the current rage amongst youths and adults. In recent times, skull motifs are one of the most popular items on the Internet and also in retail. It seems that the subject of morbidity holds a certain fascination for a lot of people.

For those who are very much in appreciation of nature, t-shirts with tree motifs also seem to be very trendy, as the subject equates life, love and living a green existence. Flora and fauna motifs are also very much in demand amongst t-shirt aficionados.

Creative promotional t-shirts, if done properly, could very well set your Company apart from others. Draw inspiration from ones already available in the market. As an example, Fedex came up with a unique design whereby the wearer looks like he is carrying a Fedex package on his side.

Don’t be worried about conventions, creative t-shirts, emblazoned with far-out designs will surely catch your audience’s attention. Artistic t-shirts almost always receive overwhelming response; the shock factor is the new wave in t-shirt design.