How to create a high-impact marketing plan on a limited budget

Have you decided to launch a new product or service but you have a very limited budget? Whatever the reason is, sometimes launching a new product needs to be done on a shoestring budget. But this doesn’t mean you can’t create a little buzz in the market.

In this post I will show you a Low-Cost Marketing Plan to launch products or services successfully in a competitive environment.  Before that, I would like to mention some paragraphs that are applicable to this case from Seth Godin in his book “The purple cow”:

            Don’t try to make a product for everybody, because that is a product for nobody. The every body products are all taken. The sneezers in these huge markets have too many choices and are too satisfied for it to be likely that you will capture their interest.

           The way you break through to the mainstream is to target a niche instead of a huge market. With a niche, you can segment off a chunk of the mainstream, and create an ideavirus so focused that it overwhelms that small slice of the market that really and truly will respond to what you sell. The early adopters in this market niche are more eager to hear what you have to say. The sneezers in this market niche are more likely to talk about your product migrating it to the masses. (Pages: 31 & 32)

And also in here:

           The problem with a scary budget is that you have to make the ads work, and quickly. If  you don’t break through the clutter, capture imagination and attention, get retailers  excited and stocking your product, and get the factory unloading its inventory, well, it’s  over. You’ve wasted your shot; you don’t get a second chance, and the product is  considered dead. (Page: 56)

Source: Seth Godin ‘The purple cow’

Now Let’s start with the plan:

If your budget is tight, chances of running advertising campaigns to a broad audience will not be an option so we have to find out which markets will be likely to have the greatest interest. (Identify Core Markets)

After that you have to find the right target audience. Users who are easy to identify and affordable to reach. Forget the mass market and go for small niche markets.

In addition you have to define the product’s features and benefits in a way that makes it easy for your target audience to fully understand the product.  The better job you do with your messaging, the less time, energy and budget you will have to spend repeating it.

Once the previous steps are completed now is time to:

1. – Build your company website and blog over which we will run a SEO and Content Strategy to generate awareness, generate online presence and become leaders in our niche.

2. - Use Social media to amplify your message and story in between your potential customers. Also you can use it to identify and engage with the opinion leaders in your niche encouraging them to pass the word via sharing and re-tweeting. (WOM)

3. – Create Attractive Press Releases: Write and distribute press releases that are newsworthy, and send them to the right publications, industry sites, blogs and social sites. If only one media outlet airs the story, you’ll have free access to thousands of people. Give editors what they need: detailed product descriptions, application information, performance specifications, pricing and availability and you’ll become their best friend.

4. – Run Referral programs: The most cost-effective method of reaching new users is by referrals from satisfied and impressed users. Satisfied users telling others about your brand are more effective than any fancy and expensive ad campaign. Spend time to get user referrals on a weekly basis. Here you have 3 examples: dropbox-zumodrive-sugarsync

Here you have some platforms that you can use to build up your referral programs: Getambassador, Curebit, Referral Candy, Zferral, Extole, Buzzreferral, Invitebox, etc.

5. – Cross-Promote with other Brands: Provide a special offer for other brands to pass out to their customers. You get free advertising, and the promotional partner gets to offer its customer a perk.

6. – Host Contests or Promotions that offers an award to the users for being a fan on Facebook, a follower on Twitter, for generating reviews or mentions on social media channels, etc.. This is one of my favorite marketing tactics for small brands because it’s an easy way to build awareness for the brand. Have a look at these excellent links about how to run contests: Contest for beginnersEverything You Need to Run a Successful Social Media Contest.

These are just a few of many tactics and strategies that you can use to create a high-impact marketing plan on a low-budget. Don’t forget that marketing success comes from creativity; not from having the biggest budget.

Did I miss anything?  Let me know what has worked for you!

Godin, Seth. (2004). The Purple Cow. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com

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