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Marketing in a Recession: Creative Strategies Small Businesses are Using.

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Marketing in a Recession: Creative Strategies Small Businesses are Using.

By Solovic
Published: March 24, 2010 Updated: February 10, 2011

It’s difficult to promote your business when the economy is tight, but every business owner understands the importance of attracting new customers. Because funds are tight many small businesses are coming up with simple, inexpensive, creative ways to build their brand.

Take Eric Stamos, co-founder of Zakle.com. Eric rides a bright yellow recumbent bicycle in areas where there are a lot of people. When people stop to comment on his cool looking ride, he hands them a t-shirt with the Zakle.com logo. Stamos knows it is working because he can see a spike in traffic from areas where he has biked. (Imagine what good shape he must be in too.)

In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a downtown toy store purchased a bubble machine for outside their store. In the morning they turn it on and the street fills with bubbles, attracting visitors. Not only did the inexpensive, innovative marketing idea attract new business, it also built a base of loyal customers. Loyal customers love it the bubble machine so much that if it isn’t working right they report it to the owners.

Contests are always popular ways when done appropriate to attract new business, but one dating service created a particularly interesting idea. They invited people to submit their worst dating stories to a blog called

Finally, one of my favorites is the traveling trade show. We all know it is expensive to travel to the big trade show events. But Richard Avdoian, president of Avdoian places a few current copies of professional association magazines and/or his company’s newsletters, some promotional pieces and a few business cards on his table, readily available and visible. (Personally, I’d consider a few give-away type items with my company info too.)

Avdoian says, “The key is to display all the above fairly organized but not so that it looks staged. The objective is to subtly prompt curiosity from bystanders who may scan your mini trade show booth”

The bottom line is you can creatively develop effective marketing strategies for your business without breaking the bank. Sometimes it is as simple as bubbles, bicycles and hot box lunches.

Message Edited by ChristineL on 01-11-2010 10:20 AM

About the Author:

Susan Solovic
Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and a small business contributor to ABC News and other media outlets, public speaker and attorney. In addition to sitting on several executive boards of small business organizations, Solovic is the CEO and co-founder of ItsYourBiz.com – a company she led from a concept to a multi-million dollar enterprise.(formerly SBTV.com) She is also a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, Constant Contact, WSJ.com and Fast Company. Her forthcoming book, It’s Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss, is scheduled for release in October 2011.

Comments:

Online marketing is also a quick way especially social media like facebook and twitter sholaMLM Marketing Expert---This post was edited to remove a commercial link. Read our discussion policies for more Community best practices.
I found about Zakle from this post. Sounded like a good idea so I checked it out. I noticed the traffic to Zakle is not that great based on Compete.com statistics. I wonder what else is Zakle doing to get more users to their site? Is Eric Stamos still doing his bicycle rides?
I still think that the best way to market a business when times are tough is to make a great web site and get it to rank highly on Google and the other search engines. If you do that, you'll reap the benefits for little or no ongoing cost once you're up there. Google organic rankings are the most little-recognized free advertising resources available to a small business.
I've noticed that lately there are more flyers and door to door marketing/advertising. Is it the recession or just a cheap form of addvertising over all.

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