Zero budget marketing seems to be an oxymoron… and yet, in today's Web 2.0 world, it is more than ever possible…Let us just define what we mean here- this post is about how we create disproportionate impact from limited (or almost zero) budgets, leveraging the power of the newer forms of influence and reach that are made available to us?
Consider the following:
- To build awareness, have you considered creating a profile of your company on facebook/ myspace- given that the accountants already consider a company an entity , this notion of looking at your brand as a "personality" is not entirely illogical, , so why shouldn't you consider? Particularly with the ability to customise platforms like facebook, you can pretty much endow your profile with exactly the right characteristics you are looking for. And it costs you nothing (well a little bit of time, perhaps?)
- Brand influence is being built disproportionately thro non traditional channels…Did you know that edmunds.com, an automotive website, has more influence on automotive purchase decisions in the US than the combined budgets of the entire US automotive industry?
- Have you really leveraged blogs enough? Having a blog is like having your own newspaper (I read that in a blog, interestingly enough)…and just think about the amount of publicity you could get if you had your own newspaper.
- Have you thought about podcasts enough? Ever since the phenomenon called i-pod, and more importantly, the community called i-tunes came into being (not too long ago, as recently as 2003, and they have sold 3 Billion songs already), you can get your "podcasts" out to the audience…
- You-tube, a Google property, reaches millions, and is probably the best channel to recruit fresh talent, and hey, do you really think you need to pay ad fees? Think again. If you could create a few videos of your workplace that you could publish (all they have to be is cool and trendy), you could start a movement on your own.
- Do you really need to have all those events? Events tend to be resource and effort intensive, and take a lot of planning effort and time- rather than doing that, can you substitute a part of the interface ( it is never really possible to substitute completely for face to face), and move that online (eg an event on Second Life, or if you would like things a little simpler, a webinar), it saves you the effort, saves them the trouble of budgeting and planning for travel, and finally, is good for the environment. (compared to the cost of a physical events, you are looking at a fraction (say ¼ ) of the cost
- Search engine marketing, a term that basically is about second guessing search engine rules with intent to get your website to be on page 1 of as many searches as you can get to can be not only done on very limited budgets (think £100 and multiples) but can also be sharply focused and be very effective, if you have thought through who you want to attract ,and who you don't.
- You have something to sell? Why do you need to invest in bricks (or even in clicks)? In the initial stages, it is relatively simple enough to avail of free website creations/ free blog creations/ free (well nearly free) e-marketplaces to start your own store at zero cost.