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A five-step guide to zero marketing cost

Learn how to make the most of ex-deals with media organizations before signing one
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Startup entrepreneurs can save on their market expenses by undertaking non-traditional or below-the-line marketing activities.

With appearances in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio often starting at P50,000 startup entrepreneurs are increasingly shunning traditional media advertising. [See top marketing, advertising tips from Kraft here]

A lot of these entrepreneurs resort to spreading the word about their products by setting up free websites on Multiply.com and fan pages in social network sites like Facebook.

However, magazines and TV programs are still the most effective marketing media in order to reach and possibly capture a target market.

One way to circumvent the hefty advertising cost involved is proposing exclusive sponsorship deals with media organizations and lending them your products for a television show or magazine, or even a theatre production, with either party not shelling out cash. [Find out how social media became key in the success of a Starbucks promo here]

A lot, if not all, of these media outlets are often in need of items – whether clothing, shoes, accessories, props – that they could use in their programs or photos, as long as these items are relevant to the story they want to tell.

For example, theatre productions can ask for an exclusive deal to borrow your products such as furniture as props for their sets. You can also lend such items to fashion shows.

Manila’s plethora of lifestyle magazines is in constant need of shoes, clothes, watches, sunglasses and other items for their pages. [See seven ways to market your business here]

Media organizations need you for their stories and productions as much as you need them to push your brand. So called exchange deals—or ex deals—and other mutually beneficial relationships could therefore result from these specific needs.

Making your Ex-Deal Right

As a business owner, it is your choice whether to lend your items or give them away for free or at discounted rates to media organizations.

Lending the items gives you one marketing advantage—you can sell the same items afterwards at almost zero marketing cost. All you have to do is to lend them to media organizations, which in turn use these goods in their publications or productions for free. [See seven below-the-line marketing techniques here]

Is there a downside to this kind of this arrangement? Yes. Items lent out to media might be mishandled during the production process, and thus could not be sold anymore after they are returned to you.

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