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Marketing on a shoestring budget

With marketing budgets shrinking, companies are looking for creative ways to reach their audience.
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With most companies dealing with shrinking profits and increased belt tightening measures, marketing budgets are often the first one to be whittled down. But as companies are now struggling to carve out successful niches for themselves, marketing remains a crucial tool in getting a message across and making a sale.

 

In an article for BusinessWeek online , Gene Fairbrother of ShopTalk 800 Business Consultant says creative thinking can be an important and effective marketing tool. By experimenting with \\\'mixed marketing methods\\\', he argues that companies can actually do more with less.

 

"Join professional and social groups to network with other people or volunteer to speak at local group meetings and seminars. Talk with local colleges to offer workshops in your area of expertise. Promote yourself as an expert source, and let local media know you’re available for interviews and listen to radio talk shows, and when the topic is within your realm of expertise, call in and offer your opinion," he said.

 

For his part, Mark Babej of marketing strategy firm Reason Inc. says now is the time for companies to really talk to customers about the merits of their products. He argues that in the boom times of recent memory, companies would often cite \\\'value creation\\\' as their main selling point, but in slow times, people need to hear frank talk.

 

He cites examples from the Great Depression as benchmarks for successful marketing efforts in tough times. Making use of free publicity, and using a hands on approach to customer management will help tide companies over for better days, he said.

 

Forbes.com has come up with an interesting slide show that illustrates how creative marketing can overcome cost issues.

 

Indeed, the value of getting the word out becomes more pronounced when sales are on the decline, more so in a depressed environment. By coming up with your own twist to traditional marketing formulas, you too can find the right avenue to hawk your goods and keep clients happy.

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