Piggyback Marketing 101 - Money Saving Tips for Business Owners

BY Eddy Hood In Profitability On Jan 13, 2012 With 0 Comments

Why would we, a geeky accounting services firm, talk about piggyback marketing?

Did I just hear you say…

“Only cool people can talk about marketing, and accountants aren’t cool!”

We beg to differ. At any rate, we care about saving money and this is a tip we've seen work for our clients time and again. Let’s do this!

Here’s a quick flashback to adolescent entertainment for you.

Remember when you were a kid, and you asked for piggyback rides from your dad? Why was that so much fun?  Let’s break it down:

  1. You got a lot of excitement for little or no effort on your part. All you did was ask for the ride; your dad was the one who had to lug you around. We’ll call this benefit #1.
  2. You got a higher vantage point. Being on his back made you taller, thereby giving you a better lay of the land. We’ll call this benefit #2.

Today’s money savings tips for business is all about asking for a piggyback. Have no fear, we’re not asking you to call up your dad and hop on his back. He’s probably too old for that kind of thing now, and let’s be honest, you weigh a lot more than you did when you were a five year old kid. Ouch!

As a business owner your marketing costs can get out of hand rather quickly. To cut through the high cost of getting your name out, try piggyback marketing. Essentially, you find creative ways to attach your marketing piece to an event that’s already in motion.

Did you get that?

Here…I’ll say it again. You attach your marketing piece to an event that is already in motion.

What do I mean by this?

Well….let’s say you own a retail store and you want to get the word out on a sale you’re going to hold this weekend. You could spend thousands of dollars sending out direct mailer pieces to people in your neighborhood, hoping that someone will care enough to get up off the couch and mosey on down to your store. A few will do it, but your return on investment will probably let you down here.

So ask yourself this little gem… “What event is already taking place that I can simply add my advertisement to?”

Since we’re assuming you own a retail store, you probably have some people walking in and out of your location daily – right? Some of them are also buying stuff. There is the event!

Think about it. When a customer comes into your store, that customer should not leave without your direct mailer piece in his or her hand. When they buy something, make them feel like they are getting an insider tip on your new sale coming up. After all, they are a paying customer and paying customers should be privy to the best deals.

How much did that little event cost you? Nothing! And the best part is that you got to interact with a fan of your store. Even better is the fact that you got to interact with them in person. That’s a huge improvement over mailing out junk mail. That stuff gets thrown away anyways.

Remember benefit #1? It was the idea of getting a big bang for your buck with little or no effort on your part? You just experienced benefit #1 because:

  1. You didn’t have to pay any money to get the information into a potential buyers hands
  2. You were able to communicate with your fans and reward them for being loyal

That’s great and all you say, but what about businesses that aren’t retail stores? What if I don’t have customers coming to me that I can advertise to?

Well, let’s say you’re an accounting services firm like us. We don’t have a store per say, but that shouldn’t stop us!

Another form of piggyback marketing is to team up with other businesses that compliment your product or service. Note to self…don’t do this with competitors. We might team up with a legal service for example.

The idea here is that you share marketing costs. Instead of paying thousands to get the word out on your business, you only spend a few hundred bucks. The added benefit is that you also get exposure to the other company’s mailing lists, and you’re seen as a compliment to their offerings.

[box_light]SecretTip: I would team up with 2 or 4 businesses to do this. If you use more companies that that, the marketing advertisement is too confusing.[/box_light]

Remember benefit #2? Now you have a higher vantage point. You just got exposure to many more people and it cost you less.

Does this only work with direct mail?

To be honest, I hate direct mail. In my opinion, it should be used as toilet paper for the devil himself. I used it as an example though because it fits nicely. However, you could do this with any piece of marketing.

Here are a few other ways to do it:

  1. Share a marketing booth at an expo
  2. Team write a blog
  3. Create a landing page that touts your combined services and then share in the Google Adwords costs to drive traffic to the page
  4. Split the cost of the radio or print ad
  5. Take turns writing the newsletter that goes out to a shared mailing list – or each of you write a section of the newsletter

So what have we achieved today my young Igniter? We have discovered two different ways to drastically cut marketing in half. Wahoo!

Why is this important? First of all, this is a blog on how to save money as a business owner so we better be giving some decent tips on how to do that. Right?!

The other reason that it’s important is because we're as an accounting services firm to businesses nationwide, and we review marketing costs a lot. When cash gets tight for our clients, they often come to us and ask “Should I cut my marketing budget?”

Here’s the answer to that question…YES and NO! Yes, you should find ways to reduce your marketing spend and get a much bigger bang for the buck using techniques like piggyback marketing, but NO – you should not stop marketing all together just because times are tough. When you stop trying to get customers, times will only get harder. It is after all, your customers that keep you alive.

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My name is Eddy Hood. I've coached over 500 businesses on how to become more profitable. I'm the Founder & CEO of Ignite Spot, and I have mad parallel parking skills.

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