Ujima radio are calling for sponsorship for their sound stage. They'll be at this year's carnival at St Pauls in Bristol. Well they will be there - if local businesses hand over the quite modest sum of £30.00 for some on stage/on leaflet promotions. I'm right at the start of my new adventure, and I'm wondering if I should take a punt?
This 'out of the blue' opportunity got me thinking about flexibility and planning. Its all very well spending weeks crafting your killer marketing strategy as you ramp up to launch your latest business campaign, but what do you do when a gift horse wanders into your yard and offers you some cheap advertising?
I don't know about you - but I look that nag right in the kisser and I evaluate!
Here's copymojo's five top tips for figuring out if that marketing gift horse is really a sure bet for the Derby. Ask yourself some questions...
1. Will it reach my target audience?
Marketing is largely a numbers game. The more people you reach, the more opportunities you have to convert them into customers, clients or supporters. With something as simple as a logo on the side of a sound stage - you'll reach a lot of people, but you won't have much of an opportunity to tell them what you do. You will start to build some brand recognition. So it might be worth the investment as part of a branding campaign. hmmm so far so good. This brings us neatly onto the next question to think about.
2. Will they be in the right mood?
Marketing and advertising is also about creating a mood, or capturing the mood and saying - 'We feel the same way, lets get together and share.'. So reaching your audience in the right mood for buying what you have to offer is a great start. If they're not in the right mood, then your marketing will be aiming to change that. See its easy! I'm thinking for our sound stage at the carnival, most businesses would be happy about the mood the audience is in all day. You might not consider this if you're a local funeral home for example- unless you have a really out there approach to dealing with the bereaved.
2. What will it 'say' about my brand?
Now you need to check that your gift horse isn't going to adversely affect your brand. In fact what you want to achieve is a positive brand endorsement which will make your audience feel good about you, your company and your products or services. So your marketing activity needs to 'fit' with your brand values and be authentic. Local sponsorship is an excellent way of communicating brand values of community and local commitment for example. If you haven't already thought about what your brand is about then its worth taking sometime to do so.
Copymojo! is about sharp, creative communication and its my company, so it reflects my values of sharing talent, supporting other businesses to fly and offering cost effective, high value service every time. So creating some brand awareness at a local carnival might be worth the investment to me, you might need to think about the next question though before you commit your hard earned cash.
4. Does it fit with my overall campaign?
Local sponsorship is a great way of building brand awareness. Clearly on its own, it will only have partial impact, the recognition of your brand will soon fade, unless you give your audience more opportunity to experience your brand.
In fact any one marketing activity on its own is rarely enough to drive sales or even long term awareness of your brand. You will need to build a campaign of activity designed to get the best for your company out of your budget. Leaflets, brochures, local advertising, press and pr activity and local sponsorship are all examples of elements of a good marketing campaign and they don't all cost major cash. I also have an online marketing strategy and a network plan and these things all go to driving business my way.
5. Is it cost effective?
The killer question. For most of us we're really asking ourselves can we afford it? You will need to build up a clear picture of the cost effectiveness of your marketing activity over time. You need to know where your investment pays off for your business. If you don't have the luxury of a few years experience of marketing costs then one of the best ways to evaluate value for money is to ask.
Other businesses with a similar profile may have already tried it out. This is where your network plan comes in - if you are meeting other business owners and entrepreneurs you should never miss the opportunity to find out what works for them. You'll need some budget for advertising but its free to get most of the advice you need on how to spend it!
Also quite a lot of excellent marketing activity costs little more than your time to get great results. I'll come back to that in later posts. In the meantime...
If you need help building a marketing strategy, or writing materials for your website, marketing leaflets or any other business communications contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm a business communications whizz and I'd be delighted to help you and your business win more customers and build profit and growth into your future.