Your business, no matter how big or small, needs marketing. In these tough financial times it’s a necessity. And, there is an effective alternative to paying consultants, designers and writers to promote your business.
Taking on the task yourself, otherwise known as ‘DIY marketing’, could be the perfect solution for your business needs. It’s not unusual for companies to market themselves, and this article highlights four important reasons why you should do-it-yourself.
Save yourself money
Money is probably the biggest motive for ‘doing it yourself’. That said, the easiest way to save money for your business could be to forget marketing altogether. Follow this ideology, however, and the effects on your business will be much more costly.
In times of financial hardship, many have cut back on marketing, but Intel’s ‘Intel Inside’ campaign, launched during an economic downturn in 1990-91, proved that doing just the opposite can be much more effective.
When all around them were dropping their marketing spend, Intel saw an opportunity and duly profited. In the first twelve months, the campaign saw Intel’s worldwide sales rise 63%, and the awareness of Intel’s logo amongst European PC purchasers grew from 24% to 94% in the following four years.
Statistics from a McGraw Hill study show that businesses which maintain or increase marketing during a recession can see sales increases of up to 256% compared with those that cut their budget.
Campaigns and promotions all cost money, but free web design software and free desktop publishing software will help you to produce brochures, flyers and websites to a professional standard. This enables you to market without breaking the bank.
Control your marketing
The old adage goes ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’. The counter-argument to this is that marketing professionals are surely better-suited to promoting your business than you… aren’t they?
Not necessarily. No one knows your business, or how to represent it, better than you. Consultants might profess that they know what you do and how to sell your products but this isn’t always the case.
You, on the other hand, understand what you do and this will manifest itself in the passion and creativity of your marketing. You’re free to do what’s best for you; you are your own marketing manager.
With complete control over the process, you can let your creativity work and try out ideas that would otherwise have cost a lot. Let your passion shine through, knowing that it’s your business you’re selling.
Flexible and convenient
There’s no doubt that creating marketing materials for yourself is a much more flexible and convenient process than hiring professionals to do it for you. If there’s something you’re not happy with, or something’s not working, you can re-evaluate and change it quickly and easily.
For example, if your website isn’t performing, or you need to drastically change its design, you can do so without the expense and the time it takes for a web designer to do it.
Templates and tutorials in web design software enable you to produce and edit websites without being a software-savvy designer. Should you need some flyers printing at short notice, you may find it difficult and costly to get them produced. However, if you do your own printing, you can quickly do it as and when required, without hassle and for a much lower cost.
You may not be the most well-versed when it comes to marketing but, strange as it sounds, that’s a great reason for you to take on the challenge of creating your own marketing materials. Because it is so economical and easy to market your business, there’s really no reason for you to shy away.
And all the ingredients are there to help you if you take on marketing your own business. From the initial research and guidance right through to the design and printing process, all the tools are available to make promoting your business simple and inexpensive.
Home or office printing make it both convenient and quick to produce printed materials, and even professionally printing brochures and flyers is relatively cheap.
Sure, it’s bound to be daunting initially, but free software and templates make it easy to produce professional flyers, business cards, websites etc. and undertaking the whole process means you can develop your skills.
As you can see, there is more to benefit from marketing yourself than just saving money. Simplicity and control over the process allow you to be more adventurous and also present you with flexibility, making marketing more convenient. All of this enables you to further your skills in the marketing world and better your business’s marketing.
Dale Cook is product marketing manager at Serif, a developer specializing in software for small businesses. Serif produces free or low cost web design software, desktop publishing software and templates for flyers, brochures and posters which enable a small business to develop an effective marketing campaign on a shoestring.