It is possible to build a big business brand on a small business budget. In case you missed it, USA Today has once again tried to grab you by the lapel and shake you into the reality of marketing in the “world neighborhood”.
In your hometown - your neighborhood - everyone knows the best place to go to eat on a special occasion. How did this become common knowledge? Did this place advertise? In most small towns advertising probably isn’t practical (beyond placing an ad in the local church newsletter). In most neighborhoods a restaurant earns a reputation through interpersonal communication A.K.A. word of mouth. The Smiths go there for Sally’s birthday and they have a great experience. They tell the Browns and the Jones. These folks go there and they enjoy it. They tell two other families each, and they return. The next thing you know the local bistro is tougher to get into then Tavern on The Green.
Today we are all connected via forums such as this one. I write a rant on viral marketing from my tiny apartment on the East Side of New York City. A tailor in Des Moines, Iowa reads it and agrees with my thoughts. He tells three of his customers about what he read and they read my blog. One of them is a CEO and he brings it up at his next staff meeting. Before you know it, I’m on a plane to the Midwest to give a presentation on the next generation of marketing – business blogs.
My point: The train is leaving the station. Get on board.
You have e-mail. Your friends have e-mail. Start a newsletter. Get permission to e-mail it to friends and clients. Ask people to pass it on if they find it helpful. The next thing you know, everyone’s talking about you and your idea. You become the local “hot spot” for your product or service in your world neighborhood.
If you’ve got a business and you’ve got something valuable to say, start telling the neighbors. Knock on some doors electronically. Before you know it your neighborhood starts growing each and every day. As long as you provide value, people will continue to come back.