by John Ingrisano
Smart marketing: I just did a neat interview with one of the owners of Nutorious, a specialty nut company. (Look for the amazing story of this zero-to-60-in-five-years Wisconsin start-up in the January 2011 issue of NEW North B2B Magazine.) They sell high-end snack nut products, and have walked away with top awards in the snack food industry.
One of the things that caught my attention during the interview was that they usually include samples with every order … often including a baker’s dozen in every dozen ordered. Makes sense for them, of course, because the ultimate sales factor for food vendors is the taste. Still, it’s a cost … or more like an investment.
Dumb marketing: When I was a neophyte, I worked for a small marketing firm that was struggling. I sat in on a meeting where one of the partners announced we had no money for a needed marketing trip. As new as I was to business, I knew it was time to begin dusting off my resume. And, yes, they were out of business within two months. They had tried to save money by NOT doing the one thing that could have made them money!
My point: Sure, these are tough times, but it makes no sense to cut back on the very activities that will build sales.
Some people joke about skipping lunch and, instead, walking through Sam’s Club and scarfing up the samples. Joke all you want; it works! It’s the same with online sites. Many give away a low-level product, and then earn big bucks by inviting visitors to go to the next level. It works.
Or then there are the business owners who make a point of putting in some face time with their clients at least once a year, but are flipping the coin over whether or not they can afford it, especially if those clients are scattered from New York to Tampa to Kansas City. The fact is that maybe they can’t afford NOT to make the trip. I believe it is crucial to remind clients/customers just how much they need and love you. (They forget so easily.) Staying in touch keeps you in mind when they need something you have to offer.
Spend your marketing bucks wisely. Review results. However, do not stop doing the very things that will help build up your business. Keep on marketing!
Work hard. Make money. Have fun. And maintain quality marketing activity.
The Freestyle Entrepreneur – winner of the 2010 Top 35 Entrepreneur Blog awards from OnLine MBA.
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