Although I don’t profess to be a marketing guru, I have spent a good deal of time in my 40 years of work experience drafting or approving marketing budgets and coming up with creative strategies to stretch the value derived from the dollars spent. Here are some observations I have made in my own business that have helped to take a more hands-on and individual approach to marketing. I hope these practical strategies help you as well.
- Make Sure to Measure This is listed as point #1 for a reason. So many businesses blindly run marketing campaigns because, a. it’s the way it’s always been done and, b. because it’s an afterthought. Measuring responses through to new clients will help you keep track of each initiative while justifying the effort and dollars spent.
- Social Networking is Worth It I’ll start out by saying most social networking mediums are free. With this said, it’s imperative that a business doesn’t take a carte blanche approach and slap whatever they feel like up on the web. Make sure what you communicate via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and blogs is educational, valuable and most important consistently done.
- E-Communication From the mid-1990s on, e-newsletters and digital communication has become a leading way to get in touch with prospects. The only downfall is obvious; people are sick of it. This is why targeted messaging is so important. Avoid poor execution and watered down information by knowing your audience(s). Educate them, don’t “sell” them.
- Try Some New Stuff Many businesses are afraid to branch out a bit and go outside the norm. Although I’m not advising that you throw away all sense and decorum and send out smoke signal messages in the center of Times Square, sometimes utilizing existing mediums to “test” new concepts such as special event invites or a survey may be the best way to see what works without blowing the budget. It’s also easier to track success rates and interest this way.
- Repurpose and Outsource As Needed Ramping up your marketing campaign can be expensive, no matter how thrifty and wily a marketer you are. Sometimes it may be best to outsource a campaign and some of the grunt work. It may sound crazy when you’re trying to save money, but often freelancers can do things quicker and with quality because, simply stated, they have practice.
Whatever you do, make sure your marketing money is spent with purpose. So often it’s easier to do things because competition is doing it or because it’s a challenge to come up with creative marketing solutions. Do your research and cross your fingers that it will pay off.