How to Market your Product on a Budget

The want to popularize your product can lead to overshoot your budget if you aren’t careful. However, the risks have been contained to a great deal today, thanks to technology that offers plenty of options for ventures with limited marketing budget.

Direct Marketing
This approach, by far, is the easiest, especially in the cases where your product or service has a niche, It is always beneficial to approach your immediate client base. There are many ways to do so.

Triggered email/sms
Start by forming a database of email addresses of your current and prospective customer base. Send them regular emails informing them of your product and services. This is a popular approach, mainly because it lets you reach your customers at no cost. Rishi Agarwal, a partner at Apala Jewels, says his company mails clients on their birthdays and anniversaries, giving them special offers and discounts.“This has given us a lot of mileage in return,” says Agarwal.

However, there is always a danger of turning the client off, if you send them too many mails. It is possible that customers delete the message every time they see your mail. This is why this shouldn’t be your primary marketing strategy. But even when they delete your mails without opening them, they still form an impression about your services and company name for future reference.

Pass on your business card
Meet people. This will always remain the simplest and the most effective way to leave a memorable impression. It is an ‘evergreen’ approach to marketing, and the best part of it is that it’s free. You can speak of your product in person and avoid any misunderstanding.

Building PR with the customers
In the context of Nepal, networking is more beneficial than it seems. The results might take some time to show but persistence and patience will lead to tangible effects. Prashi Agarwal, owner at Ferns & Petals, has learnt that giving gifts to regular clients is a good way of building PR and maintaining long-term customer relationship.

Targeted marketing
Most organizations believe that targeted marketing is the best approach to save costs. Brands now cater to a specific type of people, based on age, sex, language, origin and profession.  “If we know where our product will sell, we can skip all the mediums and directly approach the consumer.”

For example, if you want to market a high-end FMCG (fast-moving consumer good) , the right place to sell it would be big at a popular super markets. Similarly, for a B2B (business-to-business) product, visiting clients’ offices or using their intranet to circulate offers would be a better option.

Social media
Social Media marketing has emerged as the most popular approach to marketing, globally. Companies use platforms such as Facebook to communicate with their clients and get valuable feedback. For example, Shine Cleaning, a carpet and floor maintenance company gets eight out of ten clients through its Facebook page

However, as a lot of companies would say, advertising through social media does not necessarily have real benefits. As in most cases, companies signup on social media sites, but fail to maintain their presence. Sustaining social media marketing and reaping benefits from it is a cheap, but cumbersome task. Companies such as Shine Cleaning regularly maintain their Facebook page, informing their customers about their current clients and the clients’ feedbacks and other information. This eventually leads to instilling more confidence in their customers.

Sponsorships
You can also volunteer to sponsor events, on a barter basis to minimize costs. “We provide them (event organizers) our goods in return. This is beneficial for both,” says Prashi Agarwal of Ferns N Petals boutique. She says it is a marketing ‘stunt’ that doesn’t pinch their pockets and at the same time, gets them publicity. Ferns N Petals have sponsored various programs such as the British School Fashion Week and the Himalayan Times Valentines Week.

Word of mouth
Ask any company how they get most of their new customers? The answer would be ‘through recommendations’. This is not a marketing approach that you have control over, but you can work on it. Basically, nothing works better than having your own customers market your products for you. If you have created a good name for yourself in the market, people will automatically recommend you. Rishi Agarwal, Apala Jewels summarizes how important it is to satisfy your customers, “If they love and trust your product and services, they will certainly spread the word, and this is the best form of marketing.”

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