Sales & Marketing

Always Be Marketing:

11 Ways to Boost Your Creative Product Marketing In Today’s Economy

By Jane Button

Everyday we’re hearing doom and gloom in the news and what “they’re saying” about the economy. But did you know that many businesses are hiring, thriving and growing? These are the ones you don’t hear about and “they” don’t want you to know about. With a creative product business, the most important thing you can do right now to boost sales and thrive is update your MARKETING and keep MARKETING!

While other businesses stop marketing and stop advertising in a down economy because they want to “save money”- do not be tempted go that route. You will not save, in fact, it is the kiss of death and the fastest way to stop your sales. Your current customers and potential customers need to know you are there and ready, willing and able to do business. If you don’t tell them you’re still in business they will forget you exist. It’s as simple as that!

Now is the perfect time to boost your business by marketing creatively and keeping your company and products known. And whatever you do – Don’t Be Boring with your marketing! Kick it up a notch – borrow concepts from other industries and be willing to experiment!

Here are 11 Ways to Boost Your Creative Product Marketing In Today’s Economy

1. Create or UPDATE your “elevator speech” to let people know what you do in a fast, intriguing, succinct way so they’ll be curious about your unique offering and how you can help them. Remember it’s not about you – it’s about your potential customer.

2. Send out an ezine (Online Newsletter) to your customer list on a regular basis. You can easily create one for your retail customers and another for your wholesale customers. This is a great way to keep your name out there and make sure your customers remember you’re in business. Out of sight out of mind. Constant Contact is a quick and easy way to get started immediately and stay “top of mind” with your ideal clients.

3. Show your appreciation to your past customers and woo them. Remember that your past customers who know, like and trust you are more likely to buy from you again – if they were satisfied the first time. Send them Thank You cards with a personal message thanking them for their past business. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Or send them a coupon for a free gift if they make a new purchase of a certain value. Try using Send Out Cards for an easy and inexpensive way to streamline the process. It’s a real card sent through the mail, and can be customized just for them.

4. Make it easy for people to buy. Is your shopping cart doing its job making it easy for your customers to place an order? My favorite shopping cart system is 1ShoppingCart because it’s flexible and it’s also easy to suggest other products to the customer upon check out. It also works with most merchant accounts as well as PayPal. A good shopping cart is critical to purchasing online. Shopping cart systems are not created equally – think about when you have aborted an order because the site did not make it easy to buy.

5. Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Amazing how many sites are difficult to navigate, and to even understand where & what the products are. Remember it’s not about you or your company – it’s about solving a problem for your customer. They are looking for something, and they want to be able to find it quickly and easily. Don’t make them work hard to buy something from you!

6. Create an area on your website just for wholesale buyers. This can be created as a password protected page, or you can create an affiliate system page just for wholesale buyers – it makes it easy for them to get all the information they need quickly and easily.

7. Update your website with new content – make it fresh and appealing so there is a reason to visit regularly. Use good quality photos with great descriptions and even add a video showing your items in action. Educate your customers about the features and benefits of your products.

8. Use social media -Twitter and Facebook to market and connect. Once you learn how to effectively use social media, you’ll understand why it has become so important. My “go to” expert for Social Media is my friend Mari Smith – you’ll want to learn from the best and follow her on twitter @MariSmith

9. Hire professional sales reps to sell your products wholesale to stores. If you’re not using sales reps now, you may want to read my previous article, Tips for Hiring A Sales Rep before you hire one.

10. Start an affiliate program so others can sell your product retail and make a commissioned sale. It’s a win-win for all. And if you’re already using 1ShoppingCart you can easily have affiliates sign up. You can select which products affiliates can sell and how much commission they can earn.

11. Send out Press Releases, and contact your local TV stations and newspapers! The media is always looking for stories – so why not yours? One of my clients is always in the local media – the main reason being he makes contacts with locals who are dying for a story. Just make certain you have a new twist or angle connecting your business to what is relevant right now.

© 2009 Jane Button International Design2Market Success

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Online creative product mentor Jane Button publishes “Design 2 Market Success News” a bi-weekly ezine packed full of great tips to help you make money from your Sewn or Knit Product, Design, Gift, or Craft Business. If you’re ready to take off the training wheels and turn your creative passion into a profitable business, get your FREE tips now at www.design2marketsuccess.com

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