A small start-up supplier of mining equipment called me the other day seeking my advice.
He said "Jamie, I know very little about marketing. I don’t have a marketing budget. I don’t have a marketing plan. Frankly, I have no idea where to start, but I need to generate sales and leads and FAST. Help!"
“Okay,” I said. “Here’s what you need to do:
Number 1: do a GREAT job for your customers
Not a mediocre job. Not a ‘she’ll-be-right-job’. Not even and under-delivering-and-overpromising job. You need to do a smash-it-for-six-out-of-the-ground job. You need to do the sort of job that will have your customers raving about you to their suppliers, customers, spouses, person-down-the-road – anyone who’ll listen.
Number 2: when you do a GREAT good job for your customers and they’re super impressed
(1) a letter of RECOMMENDATION (PROOF of your capability to future prospects;
(2) at least one REFERRAL (the best type of leads EVER!);
(3) a TESTIMONIAL (something you can put on all your marketing collateral, website, capability statements et cetera et cetera et cetera); and
(4) permission to WRITE A STORY on your GREAT job for the trade press.
Don’t be shy about asking for these four things. After all, if you’ve done a GREAT job – your customers should be more than happy to oblige – shouldn’t they?
Number 3: write a story
Write a story about the GREAT job you did for your client.
If writing’s not your thing – get someone who can (trust me – it’ll be the best marketing investment you can make).
Number 4: promote your success story
Once you’ve written your story – and the customer approves – release it to the trade media, post it on your website, send it to all your customers, Tweet it, Facebook it and importantly: share it with your staff.
Once you’ve done all that start again and keep doing it over and over and over.
And that – I said – is how you market with no budget, no plan and no idea about marketing!
Jamie Wade is the director of Wade Business Media. He helps industrial suppliers and service providers connect with end users in the resources, construction and infrastructure sectors.