With such intense focus on digital marketing these days, business owners can overlook the fact that there are actual, physical places to interact with the buying public. It’s always a good time to rediscover the possibilities of “street marketing.” Here are seven strategies to consider:
1. Set up a booth at an outdoor festival or public event. Give out product samples or brochures to inform potential customers about your company. You might also hand out small souvenirs, such as key chains, pens or magnets with your contact info. Get your company name into their heads!
2. Dispatch employees into a crowd or neighborhood. Have staff members walk around outdoor events or busy areas with samples or brochures. Just be sure to train them to be friendly and nonconfrontational. You may drive away customers if you are too aggressive. If appropriate, employees might wear distinctive clothing or even costumes or sandwich boards to draw attention.
3. Leave brochures at local businesses. While employees are walking the streets, they may encounter other businesses, such as hair salons and fitness centers, that allow visitors to leave marketing brochures. Some let you leave such information for free, but others may charge a nominal fee. Instruct employees to ask first and respect the other businesses!
4. Post Flyers. Institutions such as libraries, universities and apartment buildings often have bulletin boards where businesses can post information about services or events. Take advantage of such venues because they usually have a lot of foot traffic.
5. Host a reception or social event. Street marketing doesn’t have to happen on the street. You can become the event by sponsoring a gathering at a restaurant or similar venue. Socializing tends to put current customers and prospects in an approachable mood and gives you a chance to talk up your latest products or services.
6. Hold information sessions on topics of expertise. In a less social but more informative sense, you can position yourself as an expert on a given topic to market your business. For example, a home alarm system company could host a crime-prevention seminar. You might display product or service information at the session but not make a sales pitch.
7. Attend small business seminars or chamber of commerce meetings. If yours is a B2B company, these gatherings can be a great way to subtly publicize your services to other local businesses. Even if you sell directly to the public, you may be able to pick up some sales leads or at least get a better feel for your local economy.
There’s no denying the sea change in marketing over the past decade or two. Digital approaches are now dominant, but augmenting your online activities with some good old-fashioned legwork can help boost your success. For further information and ideas about growing your business, please contact our firm.
About the author
Joe is a 2004 graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is also a 2000 graduate of Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware. Joe started with the firm in 2002 as a part-time intern, joining full-time in 2004.
Since then, he has worked with a myriad of clients, including entrepreneurial firms, agricultural businesses and nonprofit entities, including those with OMB A-133 audits. Joe, along with the firm, contributes to Toys for Tots, Goodwill Industries, as well as several other community organizations. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants.