Have you started up a business and need to make a splash?

Starting a new business is never easy, there is a lot to think about – least of all how you’re actually going to get potential consumers to know about your ‘offering’, and patronise your business in order to make it a success. Many new businesses fail in the first six months. It’s a tough statement and one many new business owners don’t want to hear, but it’s true. And for many of them, it’s not because their business idea wasn’t good enough, or their location wasn’t right, it’s because they failed to plan their launch into the market and ongoing exposure, carefully and correctly. If you’re starting a new business, allocate a marketing budget. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t, surviving and “making it” will be a miracle.

One piece of good news – your budget doesn’t have to be huge, especially now digital media is so intrusive in every part of our lives. So what are three ways you can make a splash and get your brand out there before you start your consistent and integrated marketing approach?

1. Advertising
There’s a lot to be said for traditional marketing in the form of advertising, business cards and beyond – if you have the capital to back it. Advertising is incredibly expensive – especially if you’re doing it in the right places – but if your chosen media has strong and relevant readership, you can really make a splash! There’s one big thing to remember, not everyone will read the paper on the same day. You need more than one ad, even if it’s a great one – especially if it’s a great one. Before committing to advertising, make sure you have enough capital to back a strong campaign, and preferably, something that can be repeated again, several months later.

2. Sponsorship
Make a splash by stealing something else’s thunder… or riding on its coat tails. Sponsorship is a tricky activity, because it is difficult to measure its return on investment. Measuring is easier if you’re doing it right at the launch of your business, and not using many other tactics to promote the business at that stage. Have you ever noticed that big brands fall over themselves to sponsor events like the Olympics or world cup football – it’s not only because their brand is seen by millions of viewers and attendees, it’s because their name becomes synonymous with that event, increasing recall. If you’re going to do it, do it big!

3. Guerrilla marketing
Have you ever been watching the cricket and seen a streaker run across the field? Despite the love of the game, isn’t it amazing the attention he gets and how many people talk about him afterwards – regardless of the result of the game? This is like guerrilla marketing – it is making a deliberate and unexpected statement and “splash” so you turn heads and get people looking. In the past it’s been done with branded “spidermen” hanging from buildings, Formula 1 cars being driven through town, and the use of social media in viral campaigns. If you’re going to go guerrilla, you need to ensure no one gets hurt, it won’t impact your brand negatively in the long run – and you do it big enough to make a real splash!

by Tom Mallet of Safetrac

Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including business cards.