Why Free Samples should be part of your Marketing Strategy

Free samples are everywhere! Walk into any mall or store and you will find people handing out samples. Go to a grocery store… There are samples of coffee, cookies and many other things… Go to a mall department store… There are samples of perfumes for you to try… Even technology companies that do not have physical stores have got into the game with the so called “freemium” business model. They provide “samples” in the form of limited functionality product for you to “try”. If you want additional functionality you need to pay for it. Apple store is constantly buzzing with people sampling their latest gadgetry.
Samples are everywhere because they work. Customers love samples. It gives them opportunity to “try before they buy.” They don’t have to spend money on something new before figuring out if they will like it or not. It also lets them find new products that they didn’t know existed. With the number of product choices available to consumers increasing every day they do not have time to research all the new products before buying them. Samples provide them a way to uncover something new.
As you can see samples provide companies with an interesting marketing avenue to reach their customers. There are several ways small businesses can use free samples for effective marketing. The list below shows how you can use free samples for low-cost yet effective marketing.
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10 Marketing Acts that Generated Enormous Business Buzz

As we discussed earlier buzz marketing can help small business owners achieve high return on their marketing investment. We also showed you practical ideas that can generate buzz with your customer and community and improve your sales and customer loyalty. The primary ingredients required to create buzz are buzz-worthy products, suspense, conversation and scarcity.
Some companies have a knack for creating the buzz. Remember the TV commercial that Apple produced to introduce Macintosh computer. This is a must see commercial, along with host of other things Apple has done over the years. Besides Apple, number of other companies have generated buzz and made their brands famous by producing innovative, out-of-the-box stunts. Below are some of our favorites.
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15 Practical Ideas to Generate Buzz for Your Business

In the last post we talked about how buzz marketing can help small business owners stand out in the crowd and enable them to compete with large companies. Buzz marketing also helps lower marketing cost for small business owners because it costs less compared to traditional marketing avenues such as newspaper, radio or television.
The primary ingredients required to create buzz are buzz-worthy products, suspense, conversation and scarcity. In this post we provide you with practical tips you can use to generate buzz about your business. As you will see the key theme in each of these tips is doing something expected or even outrageous.
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How to Generate Buzz for Your Business

Buzz marketing, also known as viral marketing or work-of-mouth marketing has been the buzzword talked about in marketing circles for the last decade. Simply put, buzz marketing is about getting people to talk about your business by using unconventional marketing tactics. These days consumers’ ears and eyes are so inundated with marketing messages that it is difficult for small businesses to stand out and get noticed unless they do “something different.” This is where buzz marketing helps.
Buzz marketing not only helps businesses stand out from the crowd; but it does so by businesses having to spend less money than traditional marketing techniques such as newspaper ads or television and radio commercials.
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List of Documents to Prepare for Business Sale

Opportunity favors those who are prepared to take advantage of it. This has been the consistent theme in the last several posts we have written on how to prepare your business for sale. We mentioned that you need to start planning for business at least one year in advance. In addition there are additional items you need to take care of as the time to list your business for sale approaches.
Your primary goal as a seller is to allay potential buyer’s biggest financial fears as well as other FUDs related to the operation of the business. It is only through proper planning and careful preparation that you can dispel buyer FUDs and make your business sale go faster and smoother. After all the longer it takes for the sale to go through the more chances of something going wrong and the sale falling through.
One of the most important aspect of getting prepared for the sale is compiling all the documents related to the business finances and operations.
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Emerging Social Media Tools Small Businesses must be Aware of

We have been looking at various social media tools that all small business owners need to consider for their marketing. With more and more customers utilizing social media; small businesses that fail to integrate these tools will lose their customers to their competitors. We view the ability to track your return on marketing spend as well as lower your marketing cost as the two significant benefits that small business owners can get from the use of social media.
We showed two of the widely used social media tools – Facebook and Twitter in an earlier post. In the previous post we talked about two other tools – YouTube and Flickr. In this post we will discuss some of the emerging social media tools that may not be as popular as the ones we discussed; but are equally helpful.
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Additional Social Media Tools Small Businesses Must Consider

In the previous post we discussed two must-have social media tools every small business needs to use to market their business. We argued that social media marketing provides perfect opportunity to get the marketing exposure without spending lot of money.
Many more social media tools beyond Facebook and Twitter have emerged recently. Some of them have the potential to become next Facebook. We want to explore those tools in this post. By jumping on some of these emerging tools small business owners can get advantage over their competitors and improve their sales and profit at a relatively low cost. They can even compete with their larger rivals by harnessing the power of these tools at an early stage.
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Social Media Tools Every Small Business Must Use

It is said that half of the money spent on marketing is wasted; you just don’t know which half! Many small business owners have misconception about marketing because of which they end up spending lot of money without getting proper return. One of the 5 fundamental rules of marketing we believe in is that good marketing techniques should not cost lot of money. Internet and social media marketing provides perfect opportunity to get the marketing exposure without spending lot of money.

The reasons for using social media marketing are numerous. [Read more…]

Improve Sales of your Small Business with Free Publicity

Most small business owners do not pay sufficient attention to public and community relations. As a result they miss out on the great opportunity to improve sales and build business brand value at low cost. Instead they are focused on marketing and advertising that cost substantial amount of money. While there are number of differences between marketing and public relations, in the simplest form, marketing can be viewed as “in your face” way of putting your business in front of customers; while publicity is a more subtle approach that doesn’t cost much and can bring equally compelling results.
Why is it important to focus your efforts on publicity in addition to traditional marketing?
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How can You Get Past Customers Back

In spite of all your efforts to hold onto existing customers you are bound to lose some of them over time. There are variety of reasons they leave. Some are under your control; while others are not. Some customers leave because they received bad service. Others become tired of same products they are getting. Still others leave because you have not been in front of them through marketing.
While you will not be able keep every single customer all the time what you can do is try to bring those customers who have left some time ago. Depending on their reasons for leaving; this may be somewhat easier to do than trying to acquire the customers who have never tried your products.
So what can you do to make this happen? Below we have highlighted several techniques you can use.
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