The Vicious, No Win Cycle of $0 Marketing

I met with a potential client who owns a unique gift/tourist store in a very competitive vacation area.  I am very familiar with their business because I patronize it regularly; it is far and away the best place around to get Ariel Marketing Group's advice on avoiding the vicious cycle of $0 marketingunique apparel, swim suits and beach toys.  Its location is not ideal; many competitors are far closer to the beach.  Location in Retail is not everything, but is counts for A LOT.

Problem #1: Bad Location

I know that this Retailer needs to do 2 things:

  1. Market More.
  2. Prompt customers to go out of their way for a reason: this store is worth it.

Problem #2: The client has a minimal budget.

This is the vicious marketing cycle too many small businesses find themselves in:

  1. Their money is tied up in inventory.
  2. They need to sell that inventory in order to earn money to market more.
  3. Without money to market they don’t have enough customers to turn over their inventory.

Without a change in their action plan, this store is destined to fail.  Here are my suggestions:

  1. Update your website; no excuses.
  2. Use Social Media; no, it isn’t free, but it’s very cost effectively if used properly.
  3. Increase your advertising in the most effective publication/platform there is.  Find the money somewhere and commit to 6 months of this.
  4. Network like mad.
  5. Use email marketing, effectively.

You cannot market with zero dollars, but you can market on a shoestring to gain momentum.  It can’t stop there; every extra dollar needs to be pumped back into marketing until you move from a shoestring to a real marketing budget.  Look around you at all other successful small businesses: none of them got there without marketing.  In order to get out of the vicious cycle you need to force a change, and that can only be done by investing in your marketing.