It is very possible to start a marketing campaign or strategy for small businesses or startups with little or no budget in order to reach a targeted audience, to influence their purchasing behaviour. And this is possible with BOOTSTRAP Marketing!
On 22nd June 2022, the American Center of the US Embassy Ghana in collaboration with the American Corner Agbogba organized an insightful workshop on the theme, ‘Bootstrap Marketing for Online Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises’. The speaker was Dr. George Acheampong, who is the Head of Department for the Faculty of Entrepreneurship (University of Ghana Business School). He is also the coordinator of the Innovation Hub Department.
Two representatives from the US Embassy Ghana were present. These were: Michelle Cloud (Regional Public Engagement Specialist) and Andrew Ekuban,(IRC Outreach and American Spaces Coordinator). Participants who attended this workshop were entrepreneurs, who majority own startups or small businesses. There were also students present, who were poised to increase their knowledge on the subject.
Director of Mobile Web Ghana and American Corner Agbogba, Florence Toffa, facilitated the workshop. She started with an open remark and gave a brief introduction about the American Corner Agbogba. Michelle Cloud gave the welcome address and also highlighted the US Embassy’s Ghana’s objectives of connecting Ghanaians to the US through its events, activities and educational programs for the benefit of all. Later, Florence introduced the speaker.
Dr. George started his presentation by addressing that, it was very possible to have a marketing strategy or plan with little or no budget. He described that the focus is to identify what one wants to sell and find ways to target his or her audience. He went ahead to ask some participants about their businesses, how they started and how it is faring. Some shared their experiences with Dr. Acheampong, and he leveraged on their business experiences to explain to participants what these startups were not doing well and how they could overcome their challenges. He went on to say that it was important to do market research before starting a marketing plan/business. Identifying a need, targeting your audience, providing the product or service, finding different strategies for marketing a product were important starting points to first consider.
He went further to show statistics of marketing tools which are highly used by social media entrepreneurs businesses. Some of these were: FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Blogging, YouYTube and Google. Publicity was also a good tool for marketing, an example he cited was on call in during radio programs and wearing of a brand shirt at events.
Dr. Acheampong also added that it was very important to satisfy your customers by ensuring that your brand is one they can trust. When that happens, customers would always want to do business with you. Furthermore, the aspects to consider when designing a market research are:
- Data gathering/information/statistics
- Data mining
- Analysing and interpreting data
- Drawing conclusions
Dr. Acheampong went on further to add that entrepreneurs must have a competitive edge in the market. Thus, finding a niche (targeting and pinpointing), being unique, building a community with their customers through engagement and service and building trust. He added that, entrepreneurs must give a promise to their customers as a way of keeping them by :
- Knowing what customers expect
- Knowing what their brand is offering
- Excitement packaging
Adding entertainment to your marketing campaign promotes brand awareness and gaining customers, according to Dr. Acheampong. Before concluding, Dr. Acheampong also added that when there are instances of comments or complaints from customers, business owners should do the following:
- Humanize response
- Respond quickly
- Respond publicly
- Create alerts
In conclusion, Dr. Achemapong emphasized again that if entrepreneurs utilize all these steps, they stand a good chance of excelling in their business marketing strategy without investing too much. Participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and the speaker answered them satisfactorily. A group photo was taken after which participants networked amongst themselves.