Advertisements either on TV, radio or print are the most popular and most expensive way in promoting a business but are very effective so many entrepreneurs follow. Fortunately, there are numerous and inexpensive ways to promote your business. Quoted from the creative director of Shrapnel Custom Shirt Design and Prints, Gelo Lagasca, “The key is that you must know what medium is best for your target clients. Be in the right place.”
1. MAKE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
Different networking sites like Facebook (www.facebook.com) and Twitter (www.twitter.com) are of great help in promoting your business. This is done by generating positive conversations about your product or by just informing your friends, relatives, classmates or anyone else about your business. Great circle of friends is a good opportunity to have your business known. David McCallum, Global Managing director of media marketing company Nielsen said, “A recommendation from a friend is the most trusted source of information when making a purchase decision” thus, this is still the best way to promote your business.
2. HAVE YOUR OWN WEBSITE
Having your own website is a big plus because not only the viewers can see the information and the publishing price but they also get to see what your products look like without having to venture all the way to their store, according to Marianne Sicam, managing director of the Broma Corporation, which produces chocolates. She also added that their Web address is included in all of their flyers and brochures so that people can check them out. Aside from promoting your products, you can also link your site to other important/ relevant websites to widen your customer base like what Sicam’s company did. They tied up with wedding websites.
3. OFFER FREE SAMPLES
Many people go to Bazaars and exhibits because of the freebies they can get. This encourages them to try out the product without having to spend any money and this is a good thing for a business. People tend to decide to buy after they have experience the product so be sure to have your product readily available. “All our postcards and flyers have a free taste coupon which a customer could claim in all our branches”, Marianne says.
4. ADVERTISE THRU FLYERS
You can use flyers as a means of advertising as what Butch Salvador did upon starting an auto paint business called Car Magic. ”I went for quality marketing- only a few got my flyers, which were strategically placed on the windshields of their vehicles- but I was always sure that my ad would be received. Majority of my clients come from those who just found my flyer”, he says. You can also distribute papers that serve as a leaflet that are distributed to every home. Some uses posters and calendars to promote their business. Majicpack Direct Marketing System has a new way of distributing flyers by distributing packages with various leaflets and flyers to class A villages in Metro Manila which includes Ayala Heights and White Plains in Quezon City.
5. UTILIZE COMPANY TOOLS
In order to shorten the expenses, you can use any material, equipment, car or vehicles that your company has. You can use your car or your van as your very own moving billboard for free! “Our van has a sticker showing our name and logo”, Marianne says. You can also use writing or packaging materials or uniforms to have your logo printed on them.
6. JOIN BAZAARS AND TRADE FAIRS
Although joining a bazaar or trade fair will need to expend a bit more cash, it will allow you to display your products, to have the customer try your product and will enable them to place their orders on spot like what Elma Laguinia of Amagan experienced. Also, you can provide a guestbook that customers can write on so that you can also get in touch with them to follow up even after the exhibit is over. If the booth rental is too expensive for you, you can ask a friend who also want to join the bazaar to share the booth space and split up the rental fee. This is what Samuel Francisco of MuraDito bags does when he joins the annual Eagle of Hopes Bazaar in Ateneo.
7. ASK HELP FROM MEDIA PEOPLE
You can ask help to your friend or anybody you know who works in the media (radio or magazine or newspapers) to advertise your product. They can feature your products in the magazine or newspaper. This makes for subtle yet effective advertising. You can send your friend samples or invite them to try your products; if they like the experience, they will be more than happy to tell it to the world.
8. DO SPONSORSHIPS
You don’t have to pay an ad to appear in a TV Show; some are actually open to ex-deals like what Michelle Uy and Andrew Que of Happy Haus Donuts did to be able to get on popular TV shows such as Unang Hirit, Umagang Kay Ganda, Sis, Kung Ako Ikaw, TV Patrol and Bandila. They do sponsorship like providing food for the staff and crew in exchange for mentioning their company name or flashing their logo on air. Andrew even mentioned,”We got a lot of inquiries afterwards. In fact, 40 percent of our inquiries come from TV sponsorships”. “There is a coordinator who even asks us if we want to sponsor different shows and events from the same channel. Sometimes too, the producers or hosts of the show are the ones who request us”. You can sponsor in different ways depending on your products or services. If you’re into catering services, you can provide food for the staff and crew. You can also sponsor other events like wedding, ceremony, seminars or workshops depending on the product or services you can provide.
Source: Masigasig (August 2008)
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