No money or time for marketing?

Times are tough and although I hear a lot of business people say they need to do more marketing, often this comes to nothing. But if trade is slow, doing nothing won’t improve it.

Reasons often given for inaction include lack of time or money, but perhaps another reason is that many people don’t know where to start.

This is a shame because there are many useful actions businesses can take that are quick, easy and don’t cost anything.

One way of looking at marketing is as storytelling. People love stories and somewhere in every business there is at least one interesting story to tell.

Stories break the ice when you’re networking, help you build business relationships, enable you to sell your products and services without realising you’re selling and can win you valuable PR coverage. A story can translate into many different formats.

Can anyone tell a story?

Yes. When I am working as a journalist, the part I enjoy most is when someone calls up out of the blue and, sometimes hesitantly, starts telling me a fascinating story about their business, products or services.

I search for stories like this to interest and excite my readers. Often these stories are more interesting than press releases which some PR agencies write at considerable expense to their clients. (There are also very good PR agencies and we like to think we write a mean press release ourselves.)

So as a result of picking up the phone and telling their story that business has obtained valuable newspaper coverage. It can and does work.

How can this help us start marketing?

It’s just one example of what we can achieve when we think about it and take that first step to do something. Yes, pay marketing specialists when you have the budget, but don’t let that stop you before then.

What is important is to start telling our story. If we don’t, no one will hear it.

In these z2ztips I want to share some ordinary observations on marketing that I hope will be useful. If they help just one business, that’ll be reward enough.

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