39 Ways to Market Your Business


Small business owners can easily get too involved in the day-to-day operations of their offices  to spend any time brainstorming marketing ideas or promotional events. Some retailers worry that marketing is too expensive, others may find it too time consuming. Without announcing who you are and what you sell, how will anyone know?

Here are 50 marketing ideas for retailers.
1.    Create a calendar for customers with your office’s name and address on it.
2.    Print the products you sell or services offered on the back of your business cards.
3.    Always carry business cards with you. Give them freely and ask permission to leave them in places your target market may visit.
4.    Join a trade association or organization related to your industry.
5.    Have a drawing for a product or a gift certificate. Use the entry forms to collect customers’ email addresses.
6.    Develop a brochure of services your office offers.
7.    Conduct monthly clinics about a product or service you offer or schedule semi-annual seminars on related “how-to” information for your industry.
8.    Have monthly or quarterly trunk shows
9.    Develop a website or blog to showcase your products, services and location. Use a memorable URL and include it on all marketing materials.
10.    Include customer testimonials in your printed literature.
11.    Promote yourself as an expert by writing articles or tips on topics related to your industry. Submit to the local newspaper, trade journal or other publications.
12.    Host an after-hours gathering for your employees and their friends/relatives. Offer to let various groups meet at your office.
13.    Provide free t-shirts with your logo to your staff to wear.
14.    Create an annual award and publicize it.
15.    Develop your own TV show on your specialty and present it to your local cable station or public broadcasting station.
16.    Create a press kit and keep its contents current.
17.    Use an answering machine or voice mail system to catch after-hours phone calls. Include basic information in your outgoing messages such as business hours, location, website, etc.- Make sure your office hours and phone numbers are written on your door.
18.    Network, Network, Network
19.    Hold an open house. Invite prominent city officials and the press.
20.    Place ads in publications your market reads. Be sure to reach the non-English speaking market as well.
21.    Distribute specialty products such as pens, mouse pads, or mugs with your store’s logo.
22.    Advertise in creative locations such as park benches, buses, and popular Web sites.
23.    Improve your building signage.
24.    Get a booth at local art/street fair events attended by your target market.
25.    Give a speech or volunteer for a career day at a high school.
26.    Sponsor an Adopt-a-Highway area in your community to keep roads litter-free.
27.    Donate your product or service and time to a charity event or auction.
28.    Create a loyalty program to reward existing customers.
29.    Create an opt-in email or print newsletter for your customers. Fill each edition with specials, tips and other timely information.
30.    Send hand-written thank you notes to important customers every chance you get.
31.    Use brightly colored envelopes and unique stationary when sending direct mail pieces.
32.    Show product demos or related videos on a television in the reception room  during store hours.
33.    Book a celebrity guest for an event at your store. Use people in your industry or television news anchors or local authors.
34.    Create window displays in locations away from your shop. Airports, hospitals, and large office buildings occasionally have display areas they rent to local businesses.
35.    Team up with a non-competing business in your area to offer a package promotion.
36.    Have a Sale on special days- ie Mother’s Days, Valentine Days – Pair up with slow moving items and offer special buys
37.    Provide extra customer service training for your staff.
38.    Create a unique lapel pin based on the products you sell to wear at meetings.
39.    Offer your customers discounts for each referral they provide.

Marketing is most effective if done in coordination with other exposure. Enhance the above efforts with additional signage, newspaper ads, displays and radio ads. Remember to tailor each event for your target audience. If your message isn’t being delivered to the right person, it may be a wasted effort.

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