Cost-effective marketing was the topic for lunches and dinners held in Strathalbyn and Victor Harbor during January and February.
Network founder Carolyn Jeffrey who has made a name for herself locally for undertaking inexpensive marketing campaigns for local businesses in the Southern Fleurieu and Yorke Peninsula made extensive presentations at four functions.
Participants were able to walk away with 10 marketing ideas that had no financial outlay (only time) and six others that came at a small cost of less than $150.
Essentially Carolyn urged businesses to firstly identify their customers (and there were chuckles from the crowd as we gave them names like Gladys, Tom, Jasper, Ocean and more).
“Without knowing who your customer is (and there can be a variety of different customers for one business), you cannot market effectively,” Carolyn explained.
The next step was to prepare a marketing plan.
“If you don’t have a marketing plan when you’re making decisions about advertising and marketing then it’s a bit like going shopping without a list; and we all know what happens when we don’t have a list.
“Too many businesses make decisions about marketing, including advertising and sponsorship, without first knowing who they want to target and also whether or not it’s a good use of their money.”
Many attendees across all events were unaware of the free opportunities that were available, particularly with online directories, and even print directories such as Yellow Pages and the Fleurieu Link.
“Ensuring your business is listed with the correct details on every possible directory on the internet will not only help you get you noticed and ultimately attract customers but if you’ve got a website it will also help with SEO (search engine optimisation).
“And online searches can change on a daily basis (or even more often), so it’s important that this exercise of checking your online listings is done on a regular basis, ideally every 3-6 months.”
Discussion took place on whether or not businesses were choosing wisely when it comes to sponsorships and whether or not they were taking full advantage of the opportunities that arise from sponsoring an organisation.
“Business owners or managers need to decide whether or not they’re offering sponsorship as a feel good donation or as a marketing exercise.
“If it’s the latter then they need to make sure they take advantage of whatever opportunities that are included such as signage, promotional chances, attendance at functions, presentations, photo and social media opportunities. Businesses simply can’t afford to waste money on marketing if they wish to succeed.”
As networking is a key focus of the Women in Business Regional Network those attending the lunches were also urged to look at networking opportunities and whether or not they could collaborate and work with other local businesses to help each other with marketing.
This is expected to be explored further at the next round of functions which will have a focus on effective networking, including public speaking and cold calling.