[Marc Ashton] The marketing of industrial products presents its own unique bunch of challenges. After all – there's only so much you can do when trying to market the widget that's attached to the thingymajig via the hose attached to the whatchamacallit…
[Marc Ashton] So 1 December 2007 arrived and South African business switched off... I've spoken to a couple of colleagues and they've thrown their hands up in the air and said "Agh, December is a write-off. We'll come back in January and hit the ground running..." That's all good and well but if you don't use this quiet period to do some planning – how exactly are you going to know where you are running to?
[Marc Ashton] So many smaller companies bemoan the fact that they can't get PR coverage because they have little or no budget available for marketing. The argument being – no budget for advertising means zero coverage in the trade press. Get that idea out of your head. Publications (particularly online) are HUNGRY for new content on a day-to-day basis – a bit of effort and you can get the coverage.
[Marc Ashton] It often astounds me that a number of SMEs decline advertising because its “too expensive” but then completely miss the PR (editorial) boat when they look for marketing. Ultimately PR (public relations) can prove to be an extremely powerful way to kick start a new venture or a business operating on a tight budget.
[Marc Ashton] Ten thousand rand it would seem to be is the figure that newly launched small businesses decide is THE number. What is interesting, though, is when you turn around and ask them to define what "marketing" they are going to do with this R10 000, they will turn to you and say: "R1000 for business cards and the rest for some brochures or a website..." Right... and where does the "marketing" aspect come in?!