Small business owners are always looking for ways to save money. Even though they know the value of marketing, typically the marketing budget is one of the first things to get chopped. Many times, completely eliminated. This can be avoided if you can figure out a way to cut your marketing budget while improving your marketing performance. Ultimately, if you follow these 4 tips, you have a chance to not only save a few dollars on your marketing budget, but actually increase your bottom line.
First things first – Marketing is more than just spending money on ads. Advertising is a portion of Marketing – it is not everything. Marketing includes a long list of ways that you communicate your message to the public. Its about what they see, feel and do with your product. These 4 tips will touch on a few different areas of Marketing that can help you save some money.
Remember: there is no guarantee with these tips, as there are many factors involved. If you don’t feel comfortable with managing the marketing and advertising process, its important to hire someone who does. The last thing you want to do is completely eliminate any marketing. This will kill your ability to grow, and perpetually decrease your sales.
Target The Right Audience
An easy way to save money is to quite spending it where it is not needed. For instance, a Newspaper advertisement can be a good idea, but it is really reaching the right audience for your specific product or service? The old way of advertising, where you cast a large net and hope to catch exactly the right color, size, and type of fish, doesn’t work any more. You have to know who your target market is, how they spend their time, and how they interact with your product. Once you know this, you can streamline your ad spend to focus on reaching them. This can immediately lower your overall ad spend by removing all the waste.
Have An Established Brand Identity
Branding isn’t just a logo. A good brand identity drives value, recognition, and unique feelings into the public realm. You need to establish yourself as a unique brand for your customers. This will help form your marketing activities into less of a “hopeful” attempt to gain customers, and more into a “valuable” message about your brand. By using a consistent foundation to build your marketing campaigns, you can save time and money otherwise spent on radom advertisements and events. This will take some initial investment, but the long term impact will prove to be a money saving investment.
Outsource Marketing Services
You cannot do it all yourself. There are times when small business owners feel like they know best, but this isn’t always the case. There are professionals out there that can do the job faster, with more efficiency and better results. Plus, when you outsource marketing services, you can spend your time doing what you do best. Instead of a Chef trying to design an ad, they can be in the kitchen improving their neweset recipe. The clothing company can focus on designing the next dress, instead of trying to create a new website. If you can afford a FT Marketing Department, do so, but for small business these days, a huge savings can be seen by outsourcing marketing jobs when they are needed. In example, RyCOM has replaced marketing departments at a savings of 10s of thousands of dollars a year.
Use Digital Marketing
You have heard it before – go where the people are. Well, its clear in today’s digital world, the people are on the internet. Whats great is that the digital marketing tools for small business are increasingly proven to be low cost and high return. If you don’t know how to create and manage a facebook page, learn how or hire someone who does (see above). If you have not optimized your website for Search Engines, do so now. If you don’t know what Content Marketing is, well – we need to talk. Digital marketing can quickly become the main focus of your marketing, and can very easily decrease the amount you spend, while increasing your exposure and sales.
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