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Smart New Marketing Tactics to Boost Sales

Even on a limited budget, you can call attention to your business using these effective marketing strategies.
June 2, 2003
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/62282

Q: We're looking for the best way to market our small business but are stuck trying to come up with new tactics to reach our prospects within our budget. Any advice?

A: Sometimes choosing the best marketing tactics is like going to a restaurant with an unlimited menu. Even entrepreneurs with tight budgets or small niche markets have dozens of options. And it can be hard to separate the best from the rest. A great tactic meets three criteria:

A business that specializes in cabinet refacing, for example, could run local cable TV spots during home-remodeling programs, including kitchen design shows. The spots would reach a qualified target audience in the appropriate context--when they were in the right frame of mind and most likely to be receptive.

Every great marketing tactic allows space or time for a call to action. This can be as simple as a toll-free number on a billboard or as complex as a direct-mail package with multiple offers. But an effective tactic always tells prospects what to do next. Can't come up with a group of tactics? Here's a virtual smorgasbord of ideas to get you started.

Quick Tips
1. For a well-rounded program, combine sales activities with your marketing tactics. On a limited budget, more sales tactics may equal less out-of-pocket marketing costs, but you will expend more time interacting with prospects.

2. Build your program starting with tactics that reach prospects who are actively pursuing the kinds of products or services you offer. Then, add tactics as needed to reach prospects wherever they are in the sales cycle.

3. Track your responses by coding your ads, using multiple toll-free numbers and asking prospects where they heard about you. That way, if a tactic stops working, you can quickly replace it with a better choice.