Shoe String Marketing: The 2014 AMI Awards
Jo Macdermott, Owner and Senior Marketing Consultant from Next Marketing, State Finalist of the Australian Marketing Institute Award for Marketing on a Shoestring, share her insights on the budget marketing phenomena.
By: Next Marketing
“Marketing on a Shoestring is what drives SME marketing and Next Marketing is really good at it.” Says Macdermott.
“In 2013, Next Marketing ran a successful digital marketing campaign, which saw them achieving top Google ranking for a number of keywords. Business had improved so much that the team expanded and moved to a larger office space just outside the city centre.”
“It wasn’t long before the new location started to cause issues. With up to an hour’s travel time each way to meet clients, driving time was eating into the Agency’s billable hours and we realised we needed to find clients in the local area.”
“One budget marketing technique is starting an online community, the Next Marketing team created the Facebook Group “I’m a Business Owner in Moonee Valley.” says Macdermott.
“The objective of this group was to build relationships with local businesses, get Next Marketing’s branding in front of people and build their expertise as the go to people for marketing in the area without directly selling or pushing themselves on prospective clients.” Says Macdermott.
Next Marketing’s budget marketing approach to building the Facebook group involved a number of different strategies, from directly approaching local businesses on their business Facebook pages to creating promotional materials to distribute in the area.
Direct social media strategy
The Next Marketing team used the Facebook graph search feature to locate and contact companies and businesses in their target area (the municipality of Moonee Valley).
“This proved to be a challenge as some suburbs have common names (for example Flemington and Kensington), so a Google search of businesses in those specific suburbs as well as the mining of the business directory on the Moonee Valley Council was also necessary to locate as many businesses as possible.” Says Macdermott.
Once Next Marketing had located a local business on Facebook, they would ‘like’ the business page and then post a comment notifying the business about the group and inviting them to join.
“All tactics had a high success rate and started to build momentum very quickly, with 200 members in three weeks.” Says Macdermott.
Creating visuals and flyers
“Posters and flyers were also created to promote the group. These were designed to fit in with Next Marketing’s branding without being overly promotional.
Flyers were hand delivered to local businesses in the target areas and Next Marketing staff spent a number of hours visiting local businesses in person to introduced themselves and let people know about the group.
In addition to the hand delivered flyers, around 1000 flyers were distributed via Australia Post into PO boxes in the area, informing business owners of the group and inviting them to join.” Says Macdermott.
Face to face promotion and word of mouth marketing
Next Marketing took the opportunity to promote the group to the local council. Three weeks after starting the group, Next Marketing and the local council representatives met. The council were very supportive and four weeks after the group started, the Agency had the opportunity to promote the group to local businesses and do some brainstorming as part of a workshop held by another marketing consultant at a formal council event.
Furthermore, the council expressed interest in working with Next Marketing in a consultancy capacity and offered to promote the group in their newsletter.
Traders Associations and Chambers of Commerce
Next Marketing also took this opportunity to contact the 11 local traders associations in the Moonee Valley area. The presidents of the associations were very supportive and each was happy to promote the Facebook page in their respective area.
“The group is still in its relatively early stages, and the approach is a long term strategy rather than a short term tactic.
However, so far the results have been very promising. The page received 150 members in its first week. At six weeks the page had 450 members and at the time of submitting our award application, had 472 members.” Says Macdermott
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