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Breckland Orchard's Top Marketing Tips for Under a Tenner

by Claire Martinsen on Thu 02nd Feb 2012 03:27


I started Breckland Orchard last year in the midst of the credit crunch, and perhaps that’s not thought by most folk to be the most austipicious time to start a business. For me I’ve loved the discipline of starting a business when times are tight……it forces you to think differently, to be creative and to get the maximum return on investment of every single pound that you spend. I’ve got a Degree in Marketing and then spent 16 years working for some great branded companies – including 12 years at Mars.  I’ve been forced to take all the learnings that I’ve had from big business and apply them in a small business scenario.

Recently I’ve got thinking about the 10 best ways that I’ve spent my marketing pound since I started. Here’s my Top Tips:

  1. TWITTER – I’ve  been Tweeting for almost 3 years, and LOVE it!  It’s helped me find customers, suppliers, advice, friends, colleagues – you name it, Twitter has been great!
    Cost = Your time
  2. SOCIAL MEDIA PER SE – I’ve embraced many of the tools available [Facebook, Blogging, I-Patter, LinkedIn].  They are a great means of communicating with customers and consumers alike.
    Cost = Your time
  3. REFINE THE MARKETING MESSAGE – Its tempting to go out and ‘do stuff’, but for me the most important thing has been to define and then constantly refine the marketing message – what makes Breckland Orchard different and what do we want to be famous for?
    Cost = Your time, pen and paper
  4. READ GREAT ARTICLES – The internet is awash with fantastic articles and blogs by some great marketeers, so really there is no excuse for not being constantly made to think differently.  I follow about 10 feeds, people and organisations that I respect and whose writings inspire me to think differently and most importantly DO things differently.
    Cost = Your time
  5. MARKETING PLANS – Its a really old message, but plans really should be live….not something that is written and then flung into a drawer, they aren’t written for a Bank Manager or a Business Advisor, they should be live and used.  A great plan should be a roadpath to achieving the business’s goals – and best of all they only cost your time to write them!
    Cost = Your time, computer, pen, paper
  6. NETWORKING – There are some great networking events out there, and plenty that don’t cost the earth.  I’ve gotten more used to networking – it’s pretty nerve-wracking at first, but a fantastic way of meeting new folk.
    Cost = Under £10
  7. PRODUCT SAMPLING – I’m lucky that I have a product to sample [my delicious drinks!], and although its not a cost-free activity to do, it’s a great way of interacting with potential customers, and introducing my product to a wider audience.
    Cost = £10
  8. CUSTOMER SERVICE – Looking after your customers is one of the best marketing tools available.  Customers are a great means of getting feedback, of seeking new ideas, of finding out what is working, and where you need to change. Great customer experiences
    Cost = Your time and effort
  9. EMAIL MARKETING – Email marketing is a cheap and effective way of keeping in touch with customers.  I use it to communicate with customers that I have met at trade shows.  I’ve experimented with a couple of systems, but am currently using MailChimp….which is free up to the first 500 email addresses.
    Cost = Your time
  10. TRAINING – It’s [still] possible to get some fantastic training for free.  Eg Central Business Library offers some great [and free] business session covering all aspects of running your own business.   I think its important to keep learning new marketing skills.
    Cost = Some are free, some have a small charge
  11. WEBSITE UPDATES – I’m not perfect[!], but keeping your website up to date is a low cost means of keeping your marketing current.  Nothing annoys me quite as much as reading a website that is a few years out of date – you know the thing [come and see us at the blah-blah on December 19th 2008].
    Cost = Your time and energy

So there you are…..no excuses for thinking that Marketing costs hundreds of pounds, do some of the basics well and there will be some return!

PS – I know that there are 11 tips here….but please refer to #8….its always better to overdeliver!


Posted in: Business Advice Tips for running a food business


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