For a start-up, a limited operating budget can be a big drawback for marketing and introducing the new business into the market. With zero budget for advertising or any promotional activities, the new entrepreneur must make use of publicity tools which can give the business the much needed exposure at relatively no cost.
One of the most effective tool for the least amount of money in marketing a business is to use the press to talk positively about the business. It also gives the business a touch of credibility and even projects a high professional image.
Media is constantly on the lookout for news, new and interesting products and fresh ideas. David Marcks, founder of Geese Police (http://www.geesepoliceinc.com), knew this too well. Geese Police is a unique service that uses dogs to chase geese away from corporate properties, golf courses, parkways, and even front lawns. With its novel concept and environmental angle, Geese Police makes good copy for the press and David has taken advantage of that. (Read our story on David Marcks’s Geese Police).
David never advertised his business. In fact, the only ad that he ever put out for Geese Police is the listing in the phone book, which comes with a commercial business line. Yet, the main marketing tool that propels Geese Police is word-of-mouth, brought in a large part by appearances and articles by the press.
In fact, media has brought a lot of attention to Geese Police. Who wouldn’t love a story about dogs chasing geese, and turning that into a successful multi-million dollar business? People always love success stories, more so if it is something that they’ve never heard before! David has successfully elicited a lot of attention from the press, and the free publicity generated by the media has been incredibly helpful in getting Geese Police across his market.
According to David, “I’ve done 30 news stories. Every time we open a new area, we get good media coverage.” A news channel in the Washington DC area is one of the latest media to give his business ample coverage, after a franchisee started Geese Police in the northern Virginia area.
To date, the greatest media mileage for Geese Police has been a feature story done by the Associated Press (AP), which was carried by newspapers across the country. “The AP did a story on us this May. First, that story was released to a few papers. Then I got a call back from them and said, some company wants to re-release this story nationwide and do it all over again. And I said fine.”
That article led to television appearances. “And we got a call from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. They want to come out and do a spoof story. I have already done like, 30 to 35 serious news channels. I have done Discovery Channel, the Animal Planet. I’ve done some children’s videos.”
Having a business mentioned in the media is one of the best ways to gain exposure for products or services. Like Geese Police, some businesses can run a marketing campaign on just media mentions. It should be at the top of the marketing plan of every business.
Recommended Books on Marketing on Zero Budget:
- Powerful Marketing On A Shoestring Budget: For Small Businesses
- Z.E.R.O.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model
- Perfect Public Relations: How to Perfectly Utilize Social Media and Web 2.0 to Reach Your Audience and Turn them into Buyers
- Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off
- Guerrilla Multilevel Marketing: 100 Free and Low-Cost Ways to Get More Network Marketing Leads