Ten ways to make your marketing budget work harder
It can be tempting when money is tight to stop any activity that is deemed ‘unnecessary’ and this often includes marketing. However, experience of working through a recession shows the most important thing to remember is even when budgets are limited, never stop promoting. While the competition continues to be active your customer may go elsewhere, and awareness of your company and brand will suffer.
So to ensure you aren’t left behind when times are tough, we’ve pulled together a checklist of handy hints and pointers to ensure your marketing activity is both smart and cost effective.
1. Have clear goals
Be smart about your priorities. This means having a plan and some clear objectives. Creating a plan ensures that the priorities feed into delivering a wider objective and can help to keep everyone on track and activity focused.
2. Have a budget
The budget will need to link in with your goals and overall business objectives. Once this is in place you can create a plan and then allocate some associated costs. The budget helps you to monitor expenditure and inform the plan for the following period.
3. Ensure you can measure success
When considering activities, look at cost effective options with a clear way to measure success. This is where digital marketing can really add a lot of bang for your buck as many of the tactics are very easy to measure.
4. Don’t forget the basics
PR, social media and email marketing shouldn’t be forgotten. Getting creative with social media can help to drive awareness and reach, through activity such as brand partnerships. Building good relationships with press and having a good image library of your own are valuable. Investing in engaging and creative content doesn’t cost the earth but can be extremely impactful.
5. Optimise your website
An unoptimised website leads to:
- Poor visibility in searches
- Poor conversion rates
- High page and cart abandonment rates
- Increased ad costs
- Increased customer acquisition costs
Carry out an audit of your website regularly. This could be part of your regular housekeeping activity, ensuring that your website is up to date and that you are hot on analytics. Simply tracking how your website performs, that all links are working and that the text and usability is effective can save you money and time in the long run.
6. Know your customer
How do you know the best way to reach someone if you don’t know who you are talking to? By knowing your customer inside and out, decisions about what they need, how to reach them and what to say to them become much easier. By reducing the confusion around who you are speaking to and how best to reach them, your marketing activity becomes more efficient and this all saves time and money. It can also inform the sort of marketing activity that will be most effective, increasing chances of conversion.
7. Take advantage of FREE
Maximise free opportunities with Google, email marketing and social media. Working with influencers is also a great way of driving awareness through little upfront expenditure – sending free product and building good working relationships with influencers can result in a huge amount of brand exposure and some excellent content.
Some say repeating a message three times will work, while many believe the ‘rule of 7’ applies.
But essentially what all of this means for marketing budgets and activity is that once you have a message you should stick to it and use it for a while. It may seem ‘old’ to you but the chances are, your target audience is yet to see it or remember it.
9. Sales and Marketing Collaboration
Ensure that sales and marketing activity is aligned. A ‘joined-up’ approach will be more effective in achieving shared goals. It means that any leads generated are maximised, resulting in more chance of conversion. A collaborative approach with good communication goes a long way to ensure consistency and a more effective way of working.
Avoid costly retainers and negotiate with your providers to ensure you are getting a good deal that is flexible and works for your business.
Call us on 01934 820854 or send us a message now to start a conversation.
Hannah Strohmeier is Head of Strategy & Planning at Just Us Agency.