Last week, I wrote about the Ortigas Market and its endeavor to create a community while supporting small and local businesses, including farms and farmers.
I asked Marisa Dames, organizer of the Ortigas Market who also happens to be president of DTC Promos, Inc., a marketing company with many high profile clients, to share some marketing tips that she encourages vendors to use to generate sales and attract loyal customers. Here they are:
Set aside a budget. “You always have a (long term) goal in mind,” Dames says. The mindset that marketing will only be thought of after a product achieves success only increases the chances of a product never reaching its intended audience. Marketing should be an integral part of operations, so that the product reaches the most number of people. “That’s why there’s such a thing as marketing and advertising expenses,” she adds.
Find opportunities to add value. It can be challenging to stand out in a glutted market, but one easy way to rise above the fray is to add extra value to what you’re selling. This can be in the form of an inexpensive but unique and/or useful freebie. “It is a reality especially now that the competition is so stiff. So you need to add value,” Dames says in Taglish. “We’re always going to encourage a gift with purchase, for example. If you buy this, I’ll give you this for free.”
Collaborate with complementary businesses. One doesn’t have to implement a marketing plan on their own. Businesses can share marketing expenses while increasing their audience and exposure by collaborating with similar or complementary businesses. “If you do it on your own, it’s expensive, but if you cross-merch and cross-market, then you get a bigger bang for your buck.”
For example, Dames encourages vendors to collaborate with each other. “Like, if somebody buys from our coffee vendor, the coffee vendor can say ‘if you buy from us, you can buy the product of that other vendor, which is pastry, for x percent discount,’” she says. “It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it builds goodwill.”
A bonus tip is to have patience. Marketing can be a long game, and save for a few examples, it can take time for word to spread. Here, consistency and strategy are keys. The Ortigas Market itself is a good example of this. As Dames says, “We’re doing a lot of marketing… We need to put the word out that there’s such a thing as Ortigas Market. We’re small but we’re growing.”