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Creative and low-cost marketing tips to grow your small business, retail store, or freelance business! Keep your cards in your wallet, organizer, briefcase, your car, your spouses’ car, in the office, home office, and by the front door. You can target your prospects on the basis of a vehicle’s model, age, style, price, and location.
Since windshield flyers can be an annoyance to some car owners, offer something of value on the flyer, like a discount coupon for your product or service, or perhaps a freebie just for coming in. 9.Create interesting, custom-designed placemats for local restaurants that display your ad (and others).
Approach owners of several cafes, sandwich shops, and pizza parlors to offer free placemats for their tables and trays. For example, if you’re a local produce reseller, you may ask the local bookstores to insert a gift certificate for 3 heads of fresh broccoli in all the cookbooks they sell. 17.Ask non-profit organizations and clubs to advertise for your business in exchange for raising money for them.
One way you could help a local non-profit organization raise money is to give them a cut of your business on a day they bring customers into your store. Another way you could partner with a club is you could allow them to sell their products or offer services on your premises.
A third way is to give the club gift certificates or auction items for a fund raising event.
Cable operators often advertise their programming or advertising opportunities between shows. The media kits from newspapers and TV and radio stations can tell you a lot about your market demographics. Place a sign on a bubble gum dispenser with your company name and logo on it, along with a sign that says part of the proceeds will go toward a scholarship or charity. Exhibit in the university union at the beginning of the semester or during the college’s open house. Partner with the university bookstore to distribute coupons inside their books at the register counter.
Do cooperative marketing with other businesses that attract students, such as copy shops, inexpensive restaurants (taquerias, sandwich shops), coffee houses, bars, night clubs, liquor stores, and video stores. 29.Park your car or a truck on a freeway overpass with a banner hanging off the right side of the vehicle. Make sure it’s big, bold and brief so that drivers will look up and have time to read your banner! 30.Put out a fold-out sign, like real estate agents use for open houses, on the sidewalk or road in front of your business. You could also place them on street corners around your block to direct people to your business. 31.Use a VCR and a rear-projection screen system in your front window at night to advertise your products, sales and hours at night. Create a slide presentation on a computer and transfer it to tape to play on the projector.
32.If you ship products or offer remote service, advertise in the Yellow Pages of outside cities and counties. It usually costs nothing, just the time to do a quarterly trash pickup along that stretch of road. 36.Remind the customer of your total satisfaction guarantee a number of times after they purchase. If your business allows customers to use your bathroom facilities, keep them clean, well stocked, and smelling great (buy an industrial air freshener). 38.Provide customers with things to read, watch or listen to while they are waiting in line. This will help reduce their waiting anxiety and put them in a better mood when they purchase. Create a drop box near the front door of your business and make the cards business-reply postage paid in case they want to take the card with them. Michael LeBoeuf, in his book How to Win Customers and Keep them for Life, tells a story of a young boy who did just that. 42.Reward employees for great customer service, and empower employees report their co-workers good and bad performance. For this to work you have to make sure you have a solid customer feedback program in place to measure the employee’s performance.
43.Take pictures of your best customers and put them on a wall in the employee room so everyone gets to know them by name.
For example, an owner of a garden and plant store has a satisfaction guarantee replacement policy that will guarantee any plant she sells.
The host can answer customers questions, direct them to sales items, or hand them an in-store promotional brochure. At the end of the day they can give you feedback on what kind of customers were coming through the door, what they were looking at in the window, and what type of questions they were asking.
47.Create a short voice-message menu system to give customers information they need during off hours. For example, when a customer calls after hours, it could say, "Thank you for calling the Mason Pool Supplies. 48.Give your best customers priority access to support, information and access to your staff. You could provide them with a priority number for customer service, your personal office number, or a pager number.
One way to do this is to post responses to your customers comments, complaints and suggestions. If you make a noticeable change in policy, product or service due to your customers’ suggestions, tell them. You can also gift wrap your gift certificates in a box as a special service to your customers.
51.Provide your friends and your best customers with blank, postage-paid envelopes and copies of your brochures. Ask them to address the envelopes to their friends and to write a personal note on your brochure as a recommendation. 52.Send official-looking invitations to your customers or prospects to announce a sale, grand opening, seminar or other event. 55.Forego the postage machine and use real stamps for letters, direct mail, and bulk-rate mail. Jay Conrad Levinson, the guru of Guerilla Marketing, suggests even going further by placing multiple stamps on an envelope.
58.Put something with weight in the envelope, such as an audio tape, a penny, magnetic business card, a piece of gum, etc. A car dealership consultant sent a brand new Hot Wheelsª car with his mailing to grab the attention of the sales manager.
Casady & Greene, a software company, sent out a mailer that a had chocolate lips glued to a postcard. This will either get in the hands of the customer contact and encourage a repeat purchase, or it will be received by the accounting department who is an influencer in the company’s purchases. 60.Offer an association to pay for their newsletter mailing in exchange for including your promotional materials in their publication. 61.Find companies who have similar, but non-competing products, and send a cooperative mailing to your combined mailing lists. For example, a Mercedes Dealer sent its customers an offer for a free health club membership. As the coordinator of such co-op mailings, you may not have to pay any mailing costs in the end.
Siegfried Vogele, professor of direct marketing in Munich, Germany, has done extensive eye tests on what people look at first in the mailing piece. Ted Nicholas, Author of Direct Marketing Success Letter (813-596-4966), says the 7 most used P.S.
64.Send a self-stamped and address postcard with your direct mail piece that simply has a few checkboxes for a reply and some blanks for the respondent to add their name. When it’s easy for prospects to respond to your direct mail, more will be likely to do so.
Newspapers list fictitious name statements, business ownership changes, obituaries, help wanted, etc. 67.If your business makes house calls, such as a plumber or painter, send postcards to the neighbors of your customer letting them know what service you provided.
The lift letter must come from someone other than the signer of the main letter and reflect a completely different style and tone than the sales letter.
You may enclose the lift letter in a separate envelope, clip or staple it to the main letter, or fold and enclose it as an insert. For example, if you send a direct mail piece soliciting your cleaning service, you could spray the letter with a pine or lemon scent. 70.Use a red ink stamp to imprint a message on your envelope that will increase the chances of getting the prospect to open it. Partner with other retailers or manufacturers to put non-competing products in the catalog. If you have bad handwriting (like me), hire a high school or college student who can address them neatly. 73.Before a trade show, advertise a special contest or other attraction to draw attendees to the show and to your booth. Get a mailing list from the exposition management company, if possible, and send an invitation card or gift certificate they can redeem at your booth for a prize or gift. Even to trade shows where you can’t exhibit, the show host is likely to accept door prizes for the attendees. If you can’t afford to exhibit, offer another company a commission to sell your product where they will be exhibiting. In addition to weekly flea-markets and large fairs, pay attention to your local newspaper for smaller fairs that churches, schools, clubs and other organizations host.
If your product can be used cooperatively with another vendor’s product, or can help them in their exhibit, seed your product to exhibitors in exchange for the exposure.
Visioneer, a company that manufactures desktop scanners, offered their PaperPortª scanners for free to exhibitors at major computer trade shows.
In other words, ask for the order at the end of your presentation and have the products and facilities on hand so audience members can purchase on the spot. Instead of committing to a storefront in a mall, you can sometimes negotiate a short-term rental agreement to put up a booth in the middle of the mall floor. 81.Invite your best customers to an event or meeting where you will be introducing your product to new prospects.
82.Send a company representative or mascot to walk the halls and isles of the trade show to entice attendees to come to your booth. For example, a grocery store might invite a produce grower to give short classes on how to determine which fruits are ripe. See if you can strike up conversations with potential clients by looking at their name tags as you walk through the crowds.
Once you have pre-determined you are going to network at an event, it’s much easier to introduce yourself to strangers.
90.Invite prospects to enjoy celebrity entertainment, comedy, or free training at your trade show booth. One billiard company sent cue-balls and hospitality suite invitations to prospective clients before a show. Many attendees will put the shirt over their existing shirt and wear it around the show, advertising your company and product. 92.At events, wear clothing or an accessory, such as a lapel pin, that shows the name of your organization. Or reproduce your organization’s logo onto a sticker and apply it on your attendee badge. 93.Hire someone to drive a billboard advertisement around the city blocks near the trade show. Since there are already billboards on taxis and buses in a city, you may consider displaying a large billboard on a trailer or truck to get people’s attention. 96.Donate products or service as auction items or prizes for charities, raffles, auctions, sport teams, and fund-raisers.
97.Advertise a unique, seasonal giveaway for every person who shops with you during that period. 98.In the beginning of Winter, on a freezing morning, visit homes early in the morning and place ice scrapers under the wipers of frosted car windshields. Announce to the press and your customers that you would like to help improve the day for people who receive a ticket. A Mary Kay representative wrapped small packages of cosmetics and skin care samples in tissue and hand-delivered them to ex- and non-purchasing customers the day before Valentine’s Day. The customer feels good for what his patronage has provided to charity, and it builds goodwill for your company.
104.Donate to charities and organizations whose members and participants match your target market. Giving away product, service or money to non-profit organizations and worthwhile charities can build goodwill for your company and be a tax write-off to boot. Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the Guerrilla Marketing series, tells the story of Tuxedo Junction, the largest supplier of tuxedos in the Buffalo area. When a customer buys one product, include a sample of another item, or a gift certificate for a different service, with their purchase. 108.Create a link on your web page that enables prospects to download information, a free catalog, interesting ideas, etc.
Tie in the valuable download with information and a special offer on your product or service. You can participate or be featured as a guest in chats on America Online, Compuserve, and the Internet. 111.Create a contest with your customers that involves visiting your web site to see if they have won a contest, to get clues to a riddle, or to print out pieces to a puzzle. The only reason customers would come back to your page is if there is a reason for them to.

113.Put your company name, phone number, web page URL and e-mail address on everything you distribute. If they lose your business card or letter, they may save some other piece of literature that is easily accessible.
114.Encourage prospects to contact you by posting an offer for free information on newsgroups, listservs, and discussion boards. I once found a free list of e-mail addresses for high-tech media and journalists which was posted on America Online. 116.Participate in Internet Newsgroups and e-mail list discussions on topics of local interest or those that are related to your business. You can have friends evangelize your business by answering people’s questions on these online discussion boards.
Webmasters and business owners are always looking for valuable content to provide their viewers.
118.Keep pre-created marketing copy in your computer scrapbook or as a text file that you can easily cut and paste into e-mails. 120.Visit web pages of companies or organizations related to your business and send an e-mail to the webmasters requesting to reciprocate links.
Keep a database of these webmasters to send e-mails when there is information or updates on your web page that they may want to highlight for their Web site viewers. 121.Create a business card that tells customers you are online, especially if your business is not computer-related. For example, I often frequent a local taqueria that serves quick and inexpensive Mexican food. Give them cards that entitle their friends and family to a special deal (below any coupon discount).
126.Put pictures of your customers on the walls of your business to show your appreciation. Stew Leonard’s store in Connecticut said that anyone sending in a picture of themselves with a Stew Leonard grocery sack would get their photo put up on the store wall. McClintock’s in Pismo Beach, CA, takes a Polaroid picture of customers who celebrate their birthday at their restaurant. By involving customers in the process you build their trust and make your service a memorable experience for them. David and Kathryn Nugent increased Wednesday night business and media coverage of their Calda! Another way is you could also have an employee write down license plate numbers in your parking lot.
A third way is to have someone periodically jot down the makeup of the people inside and outside your store.
Bad breath is often overlooked by employees who work closely with customers, but it’s not overlooked by the customer. I once saw a package of ground beef that was decorated with edible ornaments to make the meat look like a smiley face. Turn recessed or ceiling-mounted track-lighting towards the outside window, aimed at the ground. 132.Broadcast uplifting music in your store to put your customers a good (purchasing) mood. 133.Post thank-you letters, articles, and community support awards on the walls of your business. 134.Include a registration card with your product to capture the name, address and other information about your customers.
Host them to a semiannual meeting and dinner to discuss business practices, pricing, customer service, future products or services, etc.
For example, a restaurant in Denver gave their employees a dollar for every new friend, family member, college classmate, or softball teammate they brought in for a meal.
139.Sell t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and other merchandise with your company logo on them. 141.Not only can they come up with creative ideas, they can also implement your strategies inexpensively or for free! Think about changing the name of your business or products to something that is unique, memorable, and conveys a felt need. For example, a dog kennel that bathes your dog and delivers him to your home when you return from vacation combines service and convenience. 144.Show value to your customers by listing on the invoice all the items or services they purchased. For example, a computer manufacturer I bought my computer from listed the hard drive, RAM, video card, sound card, CD-ROM drive, modem and processor on the invoice.
It can be specific to a problem, such as coming up with a new slogan, or solicit their general opinions and ideas about the marketing programs. In his book, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Guy Kawasaki reminds you, "If your competitor is publicly traded, one of the easiest ways to get information about it is to buy a share of its stock.
While their store is empty an the landlord is looking for a new leaseholder, you may be able to put your products in the window that directs your competitor’s customers to your store. It might seem silly if your customers are local, however, a toll-free number gives the impression your company is larger. 153.Check with suppliers for discounted or your free promotional materials, signs, and displays. 154.Use the expertise and talents of your employees to entertain or give special service to customers. Print your services or products, a discount coupon, or an incentive for them to hand it to a friend. Here, Batteries Plus uses the back side of their business card to offer the new customer, or the prospect referred to by an existing customer, with a number of benefits. 158.Achieve a two-color look in small printing quantities by printing reversed type on white paper and coloring in the letters with colored highlighters.
While it may take time to highlight the text for several flyers, it costs less than printing multiple colors.
McDonald’s has different commercials for the Hispanic, African American, and Caucasian audience. You can modify your brochures, advertisements, direct mail, radio and other marketing communications to tailor fit the audience who you are targeting. 163.Create contests where college students or classes can work on your logo, artwork, and other marketing communications. 164.Create an informative newsletter and send it to your customers on an ongoing, regular basis.
For example, Erik’s Deli and Cafe in California publishes a quarterly newsletter that tells customers the charities they are involved with, exciting events, management changes, contests, interview with the President, and franchising plans. A new customer might not know understand how your business works and all you have to offer.
If your products require an involved decision-making process, and there are many of the same products to choose from, communicate to your customer what the differences are.
For example, you could print jokes, a funny picture, a coupon, or useful information appropriate to your business. A prudent marketer will present the benefits of their product or service to their customer.
Sometimes a magazine or newspaper will run an ad in a second spot for free if there’s an empty space at press time. When people call during closed hours, this may be your only opportunity to tell them about your products or services. Several cafes, sandwich shops, and restaurants agreed to put these placemats in their trays and on their tables, giving our advertisers a distribution of about 100,000 per quarter. Or, a health club may offer a Mary Kay beauty consultant coupons to put in each product she sells.
Post banners on your car and park it in a conspicuous location, or put magnetic signs on your car doors. For example, when the Boy Scouts go door-to-door selling raffle tickets, they could add value to their sales by presenting your gift certificate to each prospect.
You can also talk to an advertising salesperson to find out what ads have been working for your competitors.
You could even put a business card holder on the machine that holds cards good for a discount at your store. Some colleges prepare packets of information for the incoming freshman class that include flyers from local businesses. They do this for products that are actually on sale as well as for products that they want to sell but are not necessarily lower priced. At Chili's Restaurant, they post that day’s newspaper on the walls in front of the urinals.
Auto repair shops and hair salons usually having a comfortable waiting area with car and hair magazines, respectively. Since business owners don’t have the time to supervise every customer transaction, get employees to report customer complaints or observations about their co-workers. One way to do this is to put a rack near the cash register to hold pamphlets, brochures and flyers that provide helpful information to your customers.
There’s usually a friendly employee there to welcome you to the store, pull out a shopping cart, and answer any questions you might have. Tell your customers if you make a change to your business or product based on their feedback. Reserve a wall for customer feedback cards (with the names erased or torn off) and your typed responses to them.
They will appreciate the effort you have made to make the gift certificate a surprise for the recipient.
Now they will be more likely to remember the event, and because there is a higher perceived value, they will be more likely to attend your event. And if your suppliers could be your customers, send them a brochure when you pay their invoices. First, they look for who is writing them, then they look at how the letter is addressed, and then their eye jumps to who signed the letter, and the next thing they read is the P.S. For new businesses or ownership changes, you could send the new owners a short note of congratulations and a gift certificate for your services.
In the crowded mailbox of today’s consumer, a hand-addressed envelope looks very inviting. You may be able to share the costs of the ad with the trade show management since your ad will bring attendees to their show.
Magazine (May, 1996) tells the story of Frank Candy, president of the American Speakers Bureau, who wrote personal notes to lure 200 prospects to the Orlando, Fla., company's booth.
It’s another way to get your name broadcasted to the attendees and printed in the conference guide. At a conference, there will always be people sitting in the chairs looking over their literature while they wait for the session to start. Sometimes you can exhibit just on the weekends, or during special promotional events that bring traffic into the mall. In meetings, ask controversial or thought-provoking questions that relate to your business.
By providing the host with correct information, their introduction will give you more credibility.
Or you could require them to shout out your company or product name so other attendees can hear, and whoever is the loudest wins. On the sign, advertise your products, your booth number, and something free attendees will receive for mentioning the sign. You can even achieve publicity for your donations by announcing them through radio stations, the chamber of commerce, nonprofit associations, and clubs.
If a person brings in their speeding or parking ticket to your store within a week from receiving it, you will give them free product. For example, when Ethan Allen drivers deliver a dining room set, they go back to the truck to bring in a vase of roses.
But it won’t go much further unless you target your donations as you target your advertising.
They built their rental business around the lucrative high school prom season, and have created a clever affinity program to ingratiate themselves to the senior class. For example, a deli may put out samples of chips at the register while people are paying for their sandwich. Try to get involved in discussions where you can lend your advice and expertise to the audience.
By announcing an upcoming newsletter, new products, a periodic coupon, or some new information every week or month you can entice prospects and customers to come back to your web site. Having this information on every piece of literature makes it easier for your customers and prospects to contact you. Since our company was in the high tech public relation business, I knew the people interested in this information would also be our prospects.
And instead of advertising your business, ask questions on a newsgroup that lead to a discussion about your business.
Write an article of tips based on your expertise and offer it to webmasters of like-minded sites. Let customers know their e-mail address will not be sold or distributed, and only used by you to communicate with them on occasion. Amurol Confections Company of Naperville, IL, sells a plastic jar filled with Candy tarts called Bug City.
The cards can have a signature line for the employees to sign for authorization will feed their ego and get them more enthusiastic about giving the cards out.
Some states allow you to purchase names and addresses of car owners by submitting their plate numbers.
The out of the ordinary creation might have been enough to make a consumer stop in the meat isle and think about having hamburgers that night.
You can aim the direct lighting on the products or signs you want to get the most attention. In the absence of bright window signs or neon lights, this is a way to attract attention to your store at night.
Customers who buy them will be your walking advertisements and remind themselves of your business.

Even though these items were included as a package for the one price I paid, they stacked up the value by reminding me of all the options that were included in the package price.
Also, when competitors go out of business, and their phone number is disconnected, ask them if you can forward their phone calls to your store. Magazine (February issue, 1996) tells the story of how a bike shop worked with the telephone company to direct its competitors customer to his shop. Also, your customers can call you free from any pay phone and you will be able to expand nationally in the future. For example, like many banks, you could put out coffee and donuts for your morning customers. Could one of your employees provide a unique or valuable service to your customers in your store? Also, briefly describe the benefits you offer potential customers and how they can contact you. They might not realize you could take orders by phone, perform free deliveries, accept all forms of payment, and take competitor’s coupons. A magician devised his card to look like the Jack of Hearts from a deck of playing cards complete with his name and phone number, of course. If you have a company with employees, you might create a company resume that highlights your clients, testimonials, years of experience, employees, and so on. For newspapers, it might mean you don’t get to choose when your ad runs or the placement. Talk to the ad manager and offer to pay 50% of the published rate when one of those empty spaces comes up in the future. You could also include other businesses’ coupons on the placemats and share the cost of printing the placemats.
Also, you could print an ad for your business on a piece of cardboard large enough to act as your auto sunshade. The club could then advertise to their members and to the community to get prospects into your store that day, which will increase their chances to get more money.
Another instance is a local baker who, instead of giving money, gave the promoters of a local food festival 200 loaves of bread. Then, offer a local business owner who gets a lot of foot traffic 25% of the gross proceeds if he agrees to put the vending machine on his floor.
Then follow up later with a postcard that expresses your hopes that the product is satisfactory. You could put a rack in the bathroom stalls that holds the company newsletter, our put some jokes in big print on the inside of the stall doors. Nordstrom’s clothing store places chairs and couches throughout the store so spouses and children can relax while the other spouse or parent shops. Maybe they would if they participated in profit-sharing, or if their bonuses were based on the ratio of customer kudos to complaints. Place business reply (postage paid) customer feedback cards and drop boxes throughout the store. For example, a bank advertised that every 25th car at the drive-up window would receive a coupon for a free car wash. For example, if you sell batteries, you could have a pamphlet describing how to charge them properly. This will accomplish two things: 1) It will show them you listen to their suggestions and complaints and how you act on them, and 2) It gives waiting customers something to read if they are waiting.
Announce your changes in your newsletter, on your web page, and tell them verbally through your employees. It occurred to me there’s an opportunity to put more information about the company, its clothing quality, and upcoming sales in the same envelope. You could also send letters promoting his business to your customers, and they’ll do the same for you. Other vendors who created links to the PaperPort scanner demonstrate how the products worked together.
After a few sentences are exchanged you can introduce yourself and ask what the other person does. The people I talk to, even if they aren’t a prospect for my business, refer me to potential customers.
Put the most important information first, make it concise, and point out your relevant achievements for the audience at hand.
You could even inform the local police and highway patrol of your offer so they can advertise your message to their ticket recipients. Larry’s Shoes offers its customers foot massages while the salesperson searches for the right shoe size. A plumber gives every customer a small bottle of liquid drain cleaner as part of house calls.
Give away products to the charities, clubs and events where your target market will see your company name. Every year, the captain of the football team and the date of the head of the cheerleading squad are given a free tuxedo rental from Tuxedo Junction. Or a computer shop may give a repair customer a gift certificate for one free computer training course.
Give them a reason to come back with new content, and remind them to add your site to their bookmark list. Include you signature (your name and company on the bottom) on every newsgroup posting and e-mail. In return, ask for a link from your web page to theirs, and promise to reciprocate that link.
I took the card home, accessed the page, and found the complete menu, ingredients, and a coupon that I could print out for a free taco from the web page. It will also allow you to track the distribution results so you can run contests for your employees. If you collect the name and address of your customers when they purchase, you can cross reference their zip codes with census data from the government or R.L.
You can use this information to research customers patronizing your store or your neighbors’ stores. It will create attention-grabbing bright spots in your window and illuminate the ground around your store. You can even use your refreshments in your marketing as an incentive to bring new customers in. It usually costs about 2% of the amount of each check about the same as credit card merchant fees. The server who sold the most banana cream pies would win their own pie and get to throw it in the manager’s face!
Distribute your pamphlets at stores, conferences, community areas, and anywhere else your target customers will be. For example, let’s say you are a clothing manufacturer whose target market is teenage girls. Each group worked for a local company to promote their business or work on a promotional project. Instead of comparing the two long lists of features in search of the difference, it would be helpful to have in store signage or a brochure that highlights the differences between the two; such as the more expensive model had 6 inches of additional grill space, more heating power (specific), and a cover.
If your experience, performance history, and company facts can sell for you, putting them in a resume is a much more credible piece than a brochure. When the publication is at deadline, rather than filling an empty space with filler copy, they can place your ad there for a bargain price. Send them your ad and a check so they are ready to run your ad when they’re at deadline.
50% of the proceeds can go to the charity, 25% towards the business partner, and 25% to paying off your vending machine and candy. While your guarantee may be implied or displayed on a sign, repeating your guarantee will remind them why there is less risk shopping with you.
At a time when they are most open to think about the business they are doing, or about to do with you, provide your customers with a pleasurable experience.
The increased business through the drive-up window decreased the traffic inside the bank, freeing up employees to help customers inside and reducing the wait times.
If you sell sporting goods, you could have a brochure on how to take care of sprained ankles and other injuries.
The cost of the chocolate, the sticker and a little extra postage was worth the increased response. You end up with an inexpensive way to get your product in front of more people than you ever would by yourself. Thirty-seven prospects showed up, boosting show-generated sales by more than 300% over those from the previous year's show.
Visioneer gained a lot of exposure as attendees would see PaperPort scanners being used by several exhibitors.
Don’t forget to hand this new acquaintance your business card and get theirs in return.
Or, I’ll learn something new about my industry, clients, competition, or uncover opportunities for partnership. Another instance is our local Straw Hat Pizza who lets the kids ride their motorized pony for free. An auto repair shop that cleans the car inside and out, including a complimentary wax job, before it’s delivered to their customer.
Since it costs relatively little for them to do this, they granted him the advertising exposure. As you might imagine, this endorsement makes it far easier for them to spread the word to the rest of the student body. You could also make your company sign and building stand out at night, light up the outside walls with ground lighting.
Place them in waiting rooms; places like doctors, dentists, quick-lubes, auto repair shops, beauty salon, clinics, etc.
Within that audience you can target different geographic, socioeconomic, psychographic, and demographic markets. Our group was in competition with another group to create a promotional media kit and brochure for a local construction company. And when they are thinking about a visiting your store, it would be helpful for them to have information about your hours of operation, a map and directions to your location, and contact information (phone, fax, e-mail, web page, pager, etc.). In return, his company gets exposure and he is able to write off extra inventory for the cost of goods. It also shows your confidence in your product, your business honesty, and it builds a relationship with your customer. Then, after the session, go up to the speaker where people usually gather to ask questions. You could drop your literature through the flap in the box, would protect it from getting folded or wrinkled. Write comments on the back of the cards you receive as reminders of your conversations and for follow up.
Within a couple days I had over 50 high tech marketers sending me a request, to which I simply pasted the response which included the rest of the list, a brief description about our company, and an offer for 10% off our co-op mailing service.
You can also capture this information from your customers’ checks, searching for addresses through a phone book CD (like SelectPhone from ProCD), in-store questionnaires, and telephone interviews.
The total cost to him is about $200 a month, which he’ll continue to pay until a new book is published.
If you’ll be using your 800# for short calls, such as primarily taking orders, it may be worth the investment, since customers will be more willing to call. So, the in-store promotional posters you send to your retailer in San Diego, CA with a large Hispanic customer base should picture different models than the posters sent to a store in Oklahoma.
The winner of the contest would receive $100 and the opportunity to put all the marketing communications created with their logo in their portfolio. At the end of the project, both groups presented their work to the client in class, and the client chose the winner.
You could also include information about neighboring businesses or non-competing, related businesses that you trust and perhaps these businesses would do the same for you.
Another example is Magic Mountain, a theme park in California, which installed televisions and water mist sprays in the lines to entertain and cool off the park guests as they wait to ride the roller coasters.
This information will set proper expectations, increase customer satisfaction and decrease returns. As you wait to talk to the speaker, strike up a conversation with a peer who is also waiting.
Then, at the end of the show or conference, you could ship the box home so you don’t have to carry it on the plane. In addition, many of the professors agreed to give non-winning students credit for their work.
It was a win-win-win situation: The business got two groups of four college students working on a promotional project for them.
These people could be potential customers, influencers, suppliers, partners, or referral agents.
This information is useful in creating in-store promotions and determining the products and customer service you should be offering existing and potential customers. Comment cards are available throughout the store and each employee wears an oversized name tag allowing customers to see their names. You might discover a different type of customer is shopping with you that you didn’t consider your target market. The winning student even helped in working with the printer to create the stationary, letterhead and business cards. For each card returned, the employee named receives a gift certificate good for $5.00 at any of several area restaurants.

Marketing colleges to prospective students
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