If you’re developing a small business around a new product, one of the most daunting tasks is likely to be marketing. Where do you start? What can you afford? How can you compete?
Even home-based and micro businesses can achieve success without spending a fortune on branding, advertising, glossy brochures and so on.
Here’s how one micro businesses achieved publicity and increased sales:
Tim Oldham runs a home-based business, Call Sign 7. He has created a board game based on the Battle of Britain, and initial feedback from friends and colleagues gave him the confidence to pursue publicity.
Getting publicity for products is notoriously difficult, and the board game industry is vast, with a number of large companies producing and retailing board games.
How could Tim, based at home on the west coast of Australia, possibly hope to compete?
Our approach was to dig deeper than the product. We got to know Tim and found he had an interesting back story. We then looked at the demand for board games and found that a resurgence had occurred in the past 10 years. We also discovered that Tim attends a massive games convention in Europe every year and had already caught the eye of a UK wholesaler.
By presenting Tim to the newspapers in his region as a local entrepreneur whose business is backed by an interesting market demand, we caught their attention, and Tim achieved two fantastic feature articles. One of the papers will be following up with Tim later in the year and is considering a front-page feature.
For Tim to have placed ads of the same size, the cost would have been prohibitive. More importantly, the editorial carried more authority and credibility than an ad.
And the success didn’t stop there. As a direct result of the features, Tim has been asked to set up a display in a city shopping mall. The usual cost to a retailer for this is $1,000, but the manager was so impressed by Tim’s story that he is offering him the space for free.
With articles like this under his belt, Tim has a good chance of getting further and more wide-ranging publicity as his business grows. Just as important, he has leverage for getting retailers interested in stocking the game, which is competitively priced with a proportion of the profit going to the RSL (Returned and Services League).
We would love to get Tim blogging too – capturing an online audience to bring in more direct orders to his site. The stories he has to tell are captivating. And it’s stories that enchant an audience – not hard-sell promotion.