Cash-Free Ways of Boosting a Business; Companies Are Looking for Increasingly Creative Ways to Trim Marketing Budgets in Tough Financial Times. Ruth Ward Looks at Ways Creative Businesses Can Promote Themselves through 'No Budget Marketing'
Byline: Ruth Ward
When businesses start to feel the pinch, we all know that marketing budgets are often first to face the chop. But what happens when the pot was pretty small to start with, and is shrinking even further? 'No Budget Marketing' was one of the issues explored at Crunch Time, an event held last week by the regional screen agency, Screen WM, and Creative Republic to equip companies with the tools they need to stay afloat during the downturn.
With the help of Chris Unitt of Meshed Media, I spoke to a number of creative businesses about the issues they face, and how to stay visible and develop new markets without spending any cash.
The most effective marketing tool for any small business is its people. A huge number of opportunities can be developed by building mutually beneficial business relationships. Being well networked and having a good handle on what work is in the pipeline should be a critical part of any company's strategy.
Becoming a connector for other people can reap rewards in the long term.
Think about the contacts that you can introduce, and if you help to develop new opportunities for them, the likelihood is they'll want to return the favour.
Breaking out of our comfort zone and building new networks can be a challenge, but by joining professional bodies, volunteering some time to a local organisation or attending cross-sector events, you and your staff can make valuable links into new markets. …