Some business owners think they need to cut their creative marketing budgets during a recession. But doing that can be the kiss of death for a business! During a recession you need to do more work than ever to continue attracting customers and bringing them through your door or onto your website.
Reality is reality, though. And your reality may be that you simply don’t have the money you used to have to do marketing.
This doesn’t mean you give up on marketing. Instead, you need to market smarter. And that’s where Guerrilla Marketing, a concept invented by Jay Conrad Levinson, comes in.
If you’ve ever seen Levin’s website, you know that it has something of a military feel to it. That’s because Guerrilla Marketing takes a lot from guerrilla warfare. Not because the marketing message is more aggressive but because Guerrilla Marketing focuses on doing more with less.
This kind of marketing isn’t about your budget. It’s about your creativity. It’s about finding unique ways to get prospects’ attention and make a lasting impression.
With that in mind, here are a few creative marketing ideas inspired by Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing concept:
If you’re running a massage business, get 3 or 4 people to hand out very small samples of body lotion during lunch hour in your local downtown. Make sure there’s a small bow on each bottle and that your business’s logo, name, and number are printed on the bottle, the bow, or an attached business card.
Are you doing Internet marketing? Create a contest that’s related to your business and advertise it on social networking sites. Make sure to offer a prize that has real value, and make the contest fun. People will forward the message on to their friends, in effect doing your marketing for you.
Another idea for businesses that are tied to communities is to be a part of public events. Have a booth at the local art fair, for example. But don’t just sit there! Hold a raffle, do demonstrations, put on a few classes. And have some of your people walk around the fair handing out invitations to these events.
Create the kind of video that gives people belly laughs. Put it on YouTube and link to it from your social networking accounts. You don’t have to do anything as big budget as the new Old Spice cologne videos, but take a look at those to see what I mean. And then look at how many page views Old Spice is getting. Do something funny enough, and that could be you.
One of the good things about recessions is that they force us to be more creative. Our marketing efforts are no exception to this rule. Use these suggestions as a starting point. Let your creative mind go into overdrive, and create your own Guerrilla Marketing campaigns to make the most of the budget you do have. Creative marketing isn’t an option during a recession. It’s a requirement.