Marketing on a Budget – Methods for Executing Great Marketing Campaigns (Without Breaking the Bank!)


B2B Demand Generation | Guest Post by Dee Mason

We’re pleased to present this guest post by freelance writer, Dee Mason. Thanks Dee.

Please note this is similar to our post/presentation “How to Do Great Marketing with (Almost) No Money.”

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Start-up businesses tend to have the highest mountains to climb. In the current financial climate it is virtually impossible to get banks to cough up any money to help with marketing budgets and set-up costs. Even those with a cast-iron business plan will have trouble getting funding for equipment or office space. So what’s the trick to getting started on a low budget?

Credit Card
If you have a personal or business credit card, only use this as a last resort, unless you have a 0% transfer rate. Swap your credit card for a lower %APR and remember to pay it off every month if you can. Paying the minimum balance every month will cause the card to accumulate compound interest and if you are paying up 6.99%, as some charge, you will end up with a hefty balance and far more to pay. Use your card wisely and only purchase things you absolutely need.

Marketing Strategies
Think smart when it comes to marketing your business. Make connections on Social Networks. These are free to use and you can even place your own adverts on site like Facebook. Free exposure for your business will get you maximum return for zero layout costs. Join sites like LinkedIn which give you a profile and allows other members to view your information. Place links to your website on there and send prospective customers and clients to your site. Oh and if you don’t already have a website, get one. They are extremely cheap to set up, even if you use a web service. You can buy your own domain name for a very reasonable price.

Free is the Best Price
Use free advertising services where possible. Think about the old phrase “If you buy cheap, you buy twice.” This is true when it comes to consumer items like TV’s, computers, furniture and clothes, but not necessarily true when it comes to business promotion. You can offer a service to another company as an exchange for a link to your site on theirs. This can also win you testimonies from customers to give your company a boost. Become an affiliate member on websites such as Amazon.com. This lets users click on their link from your site and every time they purchase from Amazon, you will get a small percentage of the fees. This could accumulate over the course of a few months and if you save that money it can pay toward your own website maintenance without you forking out one cent. You can even offer other companies the chance to become affiliate members of your website. This creates a sort of business family tree, whereby any business affiliate will be connected via links on your website and their websites.

Spend Wisely
Setting a low start-up budget is always a good idea. Good housekeeping demands wise spending and maximum returns. Running a business is almost exactly like running a home. There are utility bills to pay, rent or mortgage to pay, furniture to pay for, and other expenses. Business is the same. You need an office, furniture, lights, computers, printers, stock and of course the odd employee. All this must be run on a budget and maintained correctly, if you are going to prevent your running costs spiraling out of control.

Get Advice
Websites are full of advice these days. Some of it is good advice, provided by experts, and some of it is bad advice. If you’re based in the US, the fool.com website is indispensable whereas readers on the other side of the pond can find a similar service at money.co.uk. Everything from the stock market to smart personal and small business finance tips can be found out there, so do some digging!

Web Design
The more informative your website, the more chance you have to attract visitors. Whatever the nature of your business, make your product or service an attractive one. You can begin by using special offers to entice customers to your business. Provide them with the best service you can right down to delivery and they will be sure to not only come back, but also to recommend you. There is a huge difference between exciting and informative websites, and busy and hard to follow websites. When setting up your site, make sure that you try to stick to a few colors as possible. If you have your own corporate colors or logo, use them on every webpage to keep consistency. Inform your customers about your business and yourself or your employee(s). Don’t forget to have a contact section on your site so that customers can offer feedback, ask questions or place orders.

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Dee Mason is a social media and travel fanatic, and has been writing freelance for nearly four years. She main focuses are on personal finance, online marketing and travel but she has been known to write about anything and everything. You can always drop her a line at [email protected]

Read my blog on Kindle

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancy Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

“If more companies listened to (Find New Customers) a lot more would be sold.” Dan McDade, Pointclear.

Sunday Post: Never have a laptop stolen (and not recovered) again!


This is a very important Sunday post - if you own a valuable laptop computer. Do this now.

Monday through Saturday, we discuss B2B marketing and lead generation. Sundays are different.

Macbook Pro

Recently I read an article about purses and laptops stolen at Starbucks. So when I read a story in the Huffington Post about how a man in Canada quickly tracked and recovered a stolen MacBook Pro hundreds of miles away in New York City - my interest was piqued.

As read the article was surprised at how simple it was - using special software and Twitter. Using the software below he learned everything about the thief, and by connecting with others using Twitter, he found local people willing to help. (Follow @fearlesscomp on Twitter, by the way.)

This is the app he used to track and recover his laptop. And it is FREE! Combine this tracking app with the power of Facebook and Twitter and you’ve got a powerful weapon against theft.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do thing these when needed?

  • Turn on physical tracking, e.g, GPS, IP address, etc.
  • Turn on webcam - take a picture of thief (Click the underlined words to see the image of the thief he tweeted)
  • Lock it down - block the thief from accessing your information

Those are just some of the things you can do remotely with the free software from Prey Project. (It’s free for individual users. They charge IT shops.) Watch this video to see how it works.

Prey Project introduction from Carlos Yaconi on Vimeo.

Our company motto is “Always Be Helping” so if we help you recover your property, our mission is complete.

We love comments and encourage you to share this so others can protect their property.

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers.

We help companies with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

How to Do Great Marketing with (Almost) No Money


Can you really market a business without a lot of money?

B2B Lead Generation on a shoe-string. Is it possible?

(We wrote this special post for March Marketing Madness. But we also share it with our readers here.)

Many small companies and startups are afflicted with a serious problem – they have little spare cash. But they are looking to sell their product and services. With limited funds, they cannot do outbound marketing - buy ads on radio, in newspapers or on TV. They cannot buy booths at trade shows. These approaches have been primary means of attracting business sales leads in the past.Empty pockets

Without deep pockets can they really market their businesses and get new sales opportunities? Have times really changed that much? If so, how can they marry those two – a lack of funds and the need to win new business?

The recession impacted businesses hard. But we can also look at today in a ‘glass is half full’ mind-set. In many ways, you’re lucky today. Technology and the advent of high speed connection and social networks means the world has changed dramatically. Brian Halligan, President of the inbound marketing software company, HubSpot (one of the fastest growing companies in the USA) says “It used to be that businesses competed on the width of their wallets. Today, they compete on the width of their brains.”

If we take Brian at his word, that means if you are smart, you can compete with the big boys – even if you lack the millions of dollars some companies spend on marketing. Let’s look at how this is done.

Here are six action items you can do today – for little money:

  1. Know your prospective customers – deeply (Cost: Near zero)
    You want to know everything. What do they care about? Where do they turn for information? What kinds of events trigger a decision? Whom do they trust? Where do they look for answers – friends, social networks, Google, Trade Associations? Spend some time doing the research. Pick up the phone and call a few. Ask questions on LinkedIn. Create a survey (SurveyMonkey) and send it out. The better you know prospective customers, the more effective your marketing, so take your time and do it well. Document your customer map.
  2. Create great content. (Cost: not more than $200)
    Now that you really know what makes buyers tick. one of the best ways to demonstrate knowledge is to start writing a blog. Sign up for a blogging platform like WordPress, Blogger or Typepad. Then write and publish articles. Add images from sources like Flickr and iStockPhoto. (Look for Creative Commons licensing by doing an advanced search.)
  3. Distribute your content on social networks (Cost: Zero)
    Make it really easy for prospective customers to find by posting to social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook as well as Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, SlideShare (presentations), YouTube (video). Also, when you post your content, add your search marketing keywords so that search engines can index it.
  4. Create a simple to understand website (Cost: A few hundred dollars)
    You need a good home to post your content. Make sure it is simple and easy to navigate. Add registration forms for them to sign up and download your content. I suggest you give away some with no registration – especially simple tools and documents, while putting more in-depth content behind a gate. (Don’t ask for too much either. Name and email is a good start. People hate long and complex forms.)
  5. Re-imagine your content (Cost: Not more than a couple of hundred dollars)
    This is where the power comes in. Take your existing content and turn it into something different. Maybe a text interview of a thought leader can become a YouTube video. In our case, we turned a popular blog article, 7 Keys to Successful Lead Nurturing into a very slick looking Cheat Sheet. Cost for the graphics work - $100. You can also take an ebook for instance, and create a PowerPoint presentation. Upload it to Slideshare, and add a YouTube video or audio to your presentation. Again, use your keywords when you upload it.
  6. Give to Get (Cost: Zero)
    Become active online. Follow interesting industry people on Twitter. Check out fan pages on Facebook. Read their blogs. Once you’ve become really familiar with them, start posting thoughtful and careful comments. Do a lot of commenting on industry blogs. People really read those.

Once you’ve done those six things, keep it up. It is a marathon – not a sprint. Keep publishing, listening, posting. Over time, you will get more and more traction. Over many months, your traction will grow and grow. You will find more and more people interested in your services.

At Find New Customers, we embraced this approach. In the last few weeks, we’ve had prospective customers sign up and download content and subscribe to our blog. We were invited to co-host a big marketing summit. We’ve been featured in two books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer. We were featured in a white paper on B2B blogging. We were a guest on HubspotTV recently. And we’re a young and small business with very shallow pockets.

It CAN be done. You can do it.

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Jeff Ogden is the President of the B2B lead generation company, Find New Customers. Why don’t you download his free white paper on B2B lead generation, How to Find New Customers, today?

Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple” Check out the online show every Friday at 11am ET, “Laugh and Learn with the Fearless Competitor.” Find New Customers is one of few lead generation companies in New York. Follow Jeff on Twitter or download the free white paper on B2B lead generation.

How to Find New Customers

Find New Customers helps companies like yours (with 150 to 5,000 employees and complex products) implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in online lead generation. Quality leads matter. In fact, a recent study found that sales teams with fewer, high quality sales leads closed more than sales teams with more leads of dubious quality.

If you wish to do sales lead generation online, contact the B2B lead generation experts at Find New Customers. Use the form below to send me a personal note or Leave a Reply to post a permanent comment on this article.







Laugh and Learn featuring @fearlesscomp - Episode 17 - Poke the Box


We save special treats for you on Fridays - time for fun!

In this edition of our weekly show, we share insights from one of our favorites,Seth Godin Seth Godin. Seth discusses the ideas in his new book, Poke the Box, which we love because it matches our values and passions at Find New Customers.

Go start something. We started Find New Customers!

We hope you enjoy it and tune in next week for a new show. We also hope you will join our intrepid quest by following us on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter.

What do you think? We love comments and our fans. So let us know.

Jeff Ogden is President of the B2B lead generation company Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple” Check out the online show every Friday at 11am ET, “Laugh and Learn with the Fearless Competitor.” Find New Customers is one of few lead generation companies in New York. Follow Jeff on Twitter or download the free white paper on B2B lead generation.

How to Find New Customers

Find New Customers helps companies (with 150 to 5,000 employees and complex products) to implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in online lead generation.

Quality leads matter. In fact, a recent study found that sales teams with fewer, high quality sales leads closed more than sales teams with more leads of dubious quality.

If you wish to do sales lead generation online, contact the B2B lead generation experts at Find New Customers. Use the form below to send me a personal note or Leave a Reply to post a permanent comment on this article.







How to Do Great Marketing With (Almost) No Money


I wrote the guest post for #March Marketing Madness.

Enjoy!

http://bit.ly/g0VRJU

Overview of Find New Customers


Forgive us, but we simply wish to share a brief company overview of the B2B Lead Generation company Find New Customers. Sales lead generation is critical today.

To remind you why this is so important, take a look at top CMO challenges.

CMO Challenges

Please visit Find New Customers for more  - and to download our great free content.

Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple” Check out the online show every Friday at 11am ET, “Laugh and Learn with the Fearless Competitor.” Find New Customers is one of few lead generation companies in New York.

Find New Customers helps companies like yours (with 150 to 5,000 employees and complex products) implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in online lead generation. Quality leads matter. In fact, a recent study found that sales teams with fewer, high quality sales leads closed more than sales teams with more leads of dubious quality.

If you wish to do sales lead generation online, contact the B2B lead generation experts at Find New Customers. Use the form below to send me a personal note or Leave a Reply to post a permanent comment on this article.






Find new customers using guest posts, Twitter and other stuff


Thoughts and prayers go out to the protesters in Egypt. May they be safe. I also believe the regime will soon fall, as I believe the army is about to switch sides.

Congratulations to @Kinaxis for winning Best B2B Marketing Idea of 2010 award we presented on Friday. Here’s the remarkable series that won the award, Suitemates.

This weekend I been thinking about this. When you are a small business, how do you get the word out and find new customers? Here are some lessons I’ve learned.

  • Write great stuff for other people. (Our posts have appeared on many blogs and thought leaders like MarketingProfs)
  • Create great stuff for yourself (How to Find New Customers is a great example)
  • Share it everywhere. (social networks) (Case in point, I participate in a weekly Tweetchat on B2B marketing. I’ve made many great contacts this way.)
  • Show passion. (believe in yourself) Passion is the most important ingredient, I think. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

It’s been two years of very hard work, but to say we’ve turned into rock stars would be an understatement. The VP of Marketing at our client, Aprimo, is typical when she says “your content is fantastic, you do so much great thought leadership work, and obviously your networking and your social skills are extraordinary!”

It’s not that we’re smart or good - we just work very, very hard and tirelessly. We’re well-known and respected today. I’m deeply honored.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple” Check out the online show every Friday at 11am ET, “Laugh and Learn with the Fearless Competitor.” Find New Customers is one of few lead generation companies in New York.

Find New Customers helps companies like yours (with 150 to 5,000 employees and complex products) implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in online lead generation. Quality leads matter. In fact, a recent study found that sales teams with fewer, high quality sales leads closed more than sales teams with more leads of dubious quality.

If you wish to do sales lead generation online, contact the B2B lead generation experts at Find New Customers - use the form below to send me a personal message or click Leave a Reply to post a permanent comment to this article.






Things are looking up…kinda


It was suggested that on Sunday posts, we go personal. “Write something about what you are doing for the business instead of what the business does” Good idea. Here you go.

With this post, I want to reflect on this year almost gone.

I’m SO thankful for my business supporters, my allies and, most importantly, my wife and kids. Jill Konrath has been a superb mentor and sounding board. Marketo, for whom I wrote a white paper - are the fastest payers on Earth. And clients like Aprimo and OneSource are invaluable.  Thank God. But most importantly, my wife, Kathy, and our three boys, Matt, Kevin and Tim, have stood by me continuously.

These folks have stuck with me through some very lean months. Oftentimes, its hard to pay the bills.

If there is one lesson I have learned it is this

Never give up and never surrender

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. –Thomas Edison

Even when it seems nothing is going right, stay the course. One day an investment you made months ago will pay off. (You never know when.)

That just happened to me. I became a Focus marketing expert. Lots of comments added, sharing great content and even hosted an event. Did not see one dime. Invest, invest, invest with no return.

Then one day I see an interesting job in Linkedin from Gerson Lehrman Group in New York City. I reach out. Almost instantly I get a reply. Turns out the hiring manager, Alex, came from Focus. He knows me by reputation.

Okay, what happens next? I meet with Alex and we’re like old friends. He explains what their needs are. Alex says he could go down the job route, but he cannot afford to pay me what I’m worth.  But he’d be happy to use my consulting services.

I send Alex a link to the How We Help page on our website - another massive investment in time. (This page has been updated and refined hundreds of times.) I talked to him. Alex says he got my email, checked out the web page and is working to get funding approved.

Can it really be that simple? Look at a web page, go to your boss, ask for money, then buy the services?

Gulp! It’s working!

What do you think?

Happy New Year!

P.S. We also lost a dear friend over the holidays. John was my best friend in my years at the University of Notre Dame. Only 49, he succumbed to cancer, leaving behind a wife and two boys, aged 17 and 21. God bless that family. And God bless you.

 

Over the holidays, check out the B2B Marketing “library”


With the long Thanksgiving holidy in the USA, executives look forward to visiting with family. But they they also have some quiet time for reflection and undoubtedly have one eye keenly trained on 2011 too. With the economic troubles of 2010, they are undoubtedly thinking.

How can we ensure 2011 is a lot better than 2010?

My suggestion is this: Take the quiet time at the holidays to improve your knowledge of business to business sales and marketing.

Fortunately, we have a “library” for you.

LibraryLet’s try to match up what you might want with what is offered at the business to business lead generation site, Find New Customers:

  • I have some quiet time for some fairly deep reading.
    We suggest white papers like How to Find New Customers, Definitive Guide to Making Quota, and Moving from Transactional to Conversational Email Marketing. 

    How to Find New Customers

    How to Find New Customers

  • I’m looking to take advantage of exercise time and use my iPod to listen to experts.
    We suggest our podcast series of lead generation marketing. Start iTunes, go to the Store and search for “demand generation.” I highlighted the results of the search below.  Our free channel is the first one listed in Podcasts. 

    iTunes Podcasts

  • I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking for. I just want to browse.
    We suggest the Thought Leadership section might be the best place to browse.

We hope you find the valuable content on lead generation marketing you seek. And remember, the lending library at Find New Customers is 100% free and open 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Plus we have no late fees.

Happy Thanksgiving to Americans and all the best to those outside the USA.

The exciting, challenging, scary world of B2B marketing


Read my blog on Amazon Kindle
(Don’t miss the Fearless Competitor appearing live on HubSpotTV on November 19th at 4:00pm ET)

B2B Manifesto ebookThere’s never been a more exciting – or a scarier– time to be a B2B marketer. In a recently study by MarketingSherpa, they found fully 8 out of 10 companies saying a lack of quality sales leads is their biggest problem. (up from 7 out of 10 last year!)

Our good friends at Velocity Partners in the UK have another great eBook (No one creates really interesting content better than the Brits - including one transplanted American over there!)

You can download it from B2B Marketing Manifesto. Or you can simply click the image.

B2B marketers unite!

You have nothing to lose but your lousy response rates.

There’s never been a more exciting – or a scarier– time to be a B2B marketer.

It’s not about social media, the web, or email. It’s about a completely new mindset, new buyer behaviours and a shiny new set of tools to address it all.

Velocity eBook

The Manifesto starts with a call to action and a plea for ambition.

We then look at what’s really changed in B2B (it’s not what most people think).

Then we touch on the barriers that stand between you and glory.

Finally, we identify what you can do about it: five imperatives and six B2B staples — the new weapons in your arsenal, waiting to be deployed. Including:

• What a world view is and why you need one

• Why B2B marketing ‘chops’ are essential to your success

• How thinking beyond digital is the future

• Why exposing your beliefs can be a powerful differentiator

• The six things B2B marketing people really need to get good at, now.

This is the new era of B2B marketing: it’s exciting, challenging, scary – and there’s really no going back.

Download the B2B Marketing Manifesto

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