Marketing in a Local Economy (Part 2)
Steps to draft a marketing plan
Let’s look at some specific actionable steps you can include in your marketing plan. Remember that marketing is a repetitive process. Let’s think inexpensive, repetitive, establishing contacts with potential customers and a message that describes the values your products bring their owners – your customers. Often times the largest gold mines are right in your own back yards. So, let’s get started by keeping the marketing plan local. It’s also what you know best. Here are some suggestions:
1. Determine who champions your work. Talk to them about your marketing plan and goals. Ask them for their assistance. I’m sure they will be glad to help. Your champions can be your best advisor, advocate and marketer.
2. Create a business card that identifies you and your work. Then hand them out. They don’t benefit you if they stay in your desk drawer.
3. Simply talk to your friends and family members. Tell and show them what you are doing and talk about your goals and dreams. Ask them if they can help spread the word about your endeavors. Give your business cards to them to share with others.
4. If your customers are local then get involved in the same community or professional groups as your customers. Become actively involved in that organization. This will provide you with repeated direct exposure to your potential customers.
5. Support your local little league, high school sports teams, bands, etc. by advertising in their program books, advertising on t-shirts, etc. Customers remember and value your support for their children’s interests.
6. Exhibit your products at local art festivals and other local events.
7. Donate your products or services to local charitable events –preferably the same charitable groups preferred by your customer base. It’s a great opportunity to support your local community and market yourself at the same time.
8. Cross-market your products with other craftsmen who have the same customer base, but produce different products. Work co-operatively with each other, share expenses and promote each other.
9. Ask former customers for testimonials that you can share with potential clients.
10. This one is hard. Ask customers how their experience with your products and services can be improved. It is tough to hear, but do not take it personally. It is information that will provide a large return if you learn from their input.
What marketing steps have worked for you and what hasn’t?
These are only a few ideas about marketing to help get everyone started on a plan. It would be great to hear about your marketing successes or even ideas that didn’t work out so well. Sharing our experiences will help all of us learn from each other. My current motto is, “Acting locally, together, we can all help each other through these trying economic times. The only support and assistance we need is each other.”
Get started on your marketing plan today so others can learn about your great products and services! Wow, we survived talking about business! It’s now ok to exhale.
Please share your insights with the rest of us. Let’s support each other and succeed together.