Duct Tape Marketing
When starting any new business the main objective is to acquire an ability to find an audience. While that audience might have deep pockets without a basic marketing plan and a clear direction you may end out being left behind in a market that you failed to exploit. For example, during the initial phase you may want to consider a focusing your attention towards a specific kind or type of client, a client that would be ideal for your business, a client that would be perfectly suited toward your product or service. You may also want to consider attention grabbing headlines on your site. A recommended site for any small business that is offered for very little cost is WordPress. WordPress consists of a large number of templates that most small businesses can easily manipulate, however since WordPress is very popular your challenge would be how you would customize the product in a way that is both attention grabbing and content rich.
While the images that you display on the website might get a client to peruse the site you will also have to pay particular attention towards your content as well. Writing Blogs that feature your products or company will allow for a vested interest in your product leading towards a relationship with other social media sites which could include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
You also will want to pay particular attention to how your site is navigated and in which way your site is being found through google searches. Finding your keywords or key terms is an inexpensive way to help people with a road map to your product. Once your site can be found via search engine optimization it is critical that your site has some kind of content which may include Blogs, testimonials, newsletter sign-up sheets, and your core marketing message. For example, if you are marketing your product towards a higher class of business then you may want to consider marketing in an arena that higher class individuals would frequent. You, for example, wouldn’t want to run an advertisement in Mad Magazine if you were selling high end cigars. You would probably consider a higher class of publication, one that targets an older, wealthier clientele.
You may also want to consider using tools such as google analytics in order to track the traffic that is on your site. You could then turn around and incorporate postings during your specific sites heavy traffic times. This could also potentially make for a good time to post google coupons or specials linking your website to a coupon book or
Another tool that can be quiet useful is that of review writing. If you want to get your site off the ground you may want to spend a lot of time writing reviews and zeroing in on how your business is seen by the public. That being said answering questions about your business on your website could lead to a lot less questions and a lot less confusion in the long run. Many businesses find themselves answering the same question over and over again which leads to frustration in the business.
You may also want to encourage your entire staff to get involved in the day to day marketing via allotting portions of the newsletter to individual teams. Having an allotted portion of the newsletter assigned to a particular team or group allows ownership of said portion and empowers the employee or team to have a voice in the business. Also, including pictures or activities with your clients within the newsletter is also advisable. This creates a two tiered approach to the business newsletter, it engages not only the employees that helped create it but also most clients would search for their own picture or article written about them to share with their friends.
Networking is another key ingredient in starting a business. You may want to surround yourself with people that are like minded or people that have successful businesses already running. A mentor or mentorship program is also advisable, but the most important item in regards to a marketing plan is that of a budget and systematic plan. Ideally, that budget would include a plan and calendar which includes possible contingencies and milestone markers. Without a single sourced direction a business can find itself confused by its direction and without a road map towards success.
The strengths of Duct Tape Marketing are seeded directly into the amount of sheer data that the book covers. With its approach towards a very clumsy website design feature such as WordPress it creates an almost cookie cutter approach to building a website. While WordPress has its value in the market place I would argue that unless you are computer savvy you may end out becoming extremely frustrated with WordPress. I have personally worked extensively with WordPress and find it rather frustrating myself. Essentially what WordPress does is create a template that is a very basic design and allows you to slide content into these very small windows, that is unless you purchase the extended model of the product. Honestly, you are better off hiring a third party to design your site with an original design instead of attempting to base your site off of very pedestrian software.
Also, the idea that you need to create some kind of imprint with Twitter or Facebook doesn’t seem necessary to me in certain businesses. For example, if you were selling Taco’s out of a Taco truck you wouldn’t necessarily need to spend all of you time creating a Facebook page and tweeting out your location. Location, as in real estate, would still be the most important feature. Say for example, you are parked directly outside of a construction zone and the construction workers could visibly see your truck at that point if given that you are there only option it wouldn’t necessarily necessitate a full blown website, Facebook and Twitter page. Although, communicating with your potential clients may end out being a more personal experience in this case as a lot of moveable food servicing enterprises have been entering the market via invitation rather than the more direct model or business creation.
As it states at the beginning of the book you need to know who your audience is and what they are looking for. I am not convinced that people go on Facebook to purchase a car. Most people find the most convenient location with the cheapest price and the least sleazy salespeople. While this book would attempt to convince you that most people should be involved with social media I would argue that in some, very specific industries, that spending a lot of time in social media might end out being a burden to your bottom line.
Also the idea that writing reviews in order to get others to review your business seems a bit overzealous. For example, if you owned a software company you would probably receive more gains to your traffic on your site if you in fact wrote reviews for other software but you may end being in direct completion with the site that you have reviewed which could create a turf war between the two companies. That being said you may end out in a two sided argument with a company that has a big head start in the market that you are attempting to enter.
I do, however, agree that creating original content within your website is paramount when starting a business that deals with that technology. For example, if you are selling some kind of computer software such video compression than you would have to show how your product worked via video links. The theory that special links and coupons could be used to encourage marketing feedback could be found advantageous to many small businesses but could be quiet laborious to setup and may not be found to be fruitful.
One of the more difficult points that the book attempts to convey is that of shared effort when it comes to marketing. While this seems like a rather simplistic task, it could become a rather complex issue when attempting to implement the policy within a business. The sheer volume of time it would take for the role players within a business to spend time marketing may end out taking away from their primary goal of creating voluminous transactions within the company. A better approach might be to create a warm and inviting working condition that would create a sense of community within the organization. That sense of community would make its way outside of the company or product line which would in turn be your word of mouth marketing which seems to be missing from the book itself.