Marketing is a fickle machine to run within a company, and can cost a lot of money with little return. Depending on your audience and your product, different marketing techniques can be used to boost your outcome, but those techniques can sometimes be extremely expensive.

Tom Patty, retired president and Worldwide Account Director of marketing firm Chiat/Day, understood how hard marketing can be for small sized businesses to create awareness without plenty of money to spend. Patty decided to put his knowledge to good use by counseling small businesses on marketing without money.

As part of his counseling sessions, Patty created an “Eightfold Path to Marketing Success” that can help small businesses.

1.    Sit down and identify your best target prospect.

This is similar to narrowing your target market, but it is extremely important to identify who is most likely to buy your product and how often they’re willing to invest in it.

2.    Promote your best benefit.

By your best benefit, Patty means to look at the one thing your product does best. Some examples he refers to are that Disney is “The Happiest Place on Earth” and Crest “Prevents Cavities.” By focusing on their best benefit, these companies are able to boost customer satisfaction and continue creating awareness of the “best” quality.

3.    Improve your value equation.

Exceeding the expectations of customers should always be a goal of a company, and by doing so; you’re unintentionally marketing to new customers by word of mouth. Patty suggests finding out what your customers want more of, and give it to them, so customers will begin to love your product.

4.    Next, define your best growth strategy.

This is where you need to decide if you want more from your original customers, or if you think it would be beneficial to begin building relationships with new customers. It’s important to focus on just one, to continue building customer satisfaction.

5.    Identify your best customers.

This is after your initial sit down to identify your best target prospect, because now you want to identify the criteria for a good customer. After doing this, it’s good to look at the amount of overall customers you have and their habits, versus the amount of good customers you have.

6.    Begin building on proven growth tools.

Proven growth tools can be anything from new products for customers to new pricing, or distribution. A good starting point would be new packaging, as this is something every customers sees and helps them to remember the product.

7.    Apply the right approach to finding customers.

There are two ways to search out customers. Either you go to them, which works best when you have a product a customer wants, or they come to you, which is when you provide a product or service a customer needs. By applying the right approach, you can continue to market your product to the right prospect.

8.    Begin processing customers through the purchase funnel.

By continuing to communicate the benefit of your product, you will be able to gain new and continuous customer attention. You’ll be able to continue growing relationships with good customers, and build loyalty to your product.

So, the number one lesson taught by Patty is that marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot of extra money. Practicing other techniques that lead to customer satisfaction and create overall product awareness can be done through marketing with no money, if you just follow the right steps.

© Zoe Begopoulos, DemGen Inc 2013