How Small and medium businesses' market their product or service?

By: Kiran Teegala


If I take this question back to 1999-2000 the answer was simple, go to internet, search forsome companies "for eg: software companies, california" and collect email addresses from the search results and shoot an email introducing your service or product. Simple! It was the easiest and cost effective way of marketing the business. Life was good. But Now? It wonít work.

It wonít work because shooting email without prior consent of the email recipient with a profit making intention is SPAM and your hosting provider may fine you or may block your account from their server if found so. What are the other means/methods/channels for marketing? Tele-Marketing, Advertisements, Direct mail etc but all these would prove expensive or less effective for a small and medium business. Then what is the alternative?

Usually banks and other organizations in India use mobile phones to sms and reach mobile users to market their products. You might have received calls or sms for personal loans, vehicle loans, housing loans, insurance plans from different organizations but due to new government regulations, opt-in service (Mobile users who specifically opt in to receive advertisements on their mobile) only can receive advertisements from these organizations now. How do banks or other organizations reach new customers?

!b>What is the easiest way to promote business? The answer is business networking

Yes, Business networking has arrived and is a successful alternative to email marketing.Businessesí or people who join such networks join with an intention to get new connections and grow their network and reach new customers. Itís like an opt-in service database for the businesses and professionals to promote and market their business. Businesses that are already using such networks have started realizing the benefits and are having a competitive edge over others that donít network. Businesses that did not consider yet to network will surely lose the benefits to their competitors. So its time to join the networks to promote and market your business.

Before I conclude a word of caution, I would like to educate the audience about 2 terms Social networking and Business networking. Networking sites like orkut, myspace, etc are purely for social purposes, you can use them to expand your contacts personally but Business networking is a different ball game. There is no space for anonymity and absurdity in business so when you want to network to promote and market your business do not join social networks, instead join business networks like linkedin.com,livebiznet.com and xing.com, etc. These are the sites that are really professional business networking sites that donít entertain nudity or other vulgar images or topics. One vulgar image or word that your customer may see on the network may spoil the reputation of your organization as a whole. So choose a Business networking site for business and not a social networking site.

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