From the Editor – March/ April 2009 eBiz Insider magazine. Download the complete issue as a PDF by clicking here.
Someone once told me the three most expensive things in life are your wedding, your house and your divorce. In today’s economy houses aren’t selling, divorces are advertised in the classifieds for $99 and now there is the $150 wedding package.
I had some business to take care of in the Palm Beach County courthouse and when I stopped by Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock’s office, I found an advertising card for what is billed as the “Sensible Start Wedding Package”. With a price point “less than $150”, what a bargain! That is of course, if you’re willing to say “I do” in a non-religious ceremony.
For $150 you get your marriage license, the ceremony, a photography package and the all-important commemorative certificate. While a courthouse wedding may not be the extravagant event every little girl dreams of someday having, in this economy it may be all that some can afford.
When I saw this offer, I immediately began thinking of ways businesses can market themselves in a down economy:
- Bundle Popular Products – Everyone likes a deal, so give them a bonus for spending just a little more. Take three or four of your most popular items, bundle them and take off a couple percent.
- Take Advantage of Local Search – Do people in your neighborhood know you’re right around the corner? Create listings in local search engines such as Yahoo! Local or Best of the Web to drive local traffic to your door. Local sales + no shipping charge = more profit.
- Speaking Opportunities – Is your local Lions or Rotary club looking for someone to speak to their group on e-commerce? This is a perfect opportunity for you to spread the word about your business and hopefully make friends who become customers.
- The Morning Zoo – If you have a unique product that deserves a few minutes of fame on your local radio morning show, send it to the jocks along with a note and some samples of other products you sell. If you catch their eye, they’ll talk up your product or invite you into the studio for an interview. DJs love free stuff; trust me, I was one in a previous life and always plugged the company who gave up the goods.
There are lots of creative ways to get free or low-cost PR for your business; you just have to put on your creative thinking cap.