This article first appeared on October 28th, 2011.
I have a limited marketing budget and am weighing up how I should spend my money.
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What can I do to stretch my budget and get a good presence in the market compared with the more established players in my field?
There are a number of ways to achieve a better result with your marketing spend. They are:
- Know exactly who you are targeting (your consumers) so there is no wastage. Don’t assume you know – do low-cost focus groups (use friends and family who are like your consumers) and ask them what they read, how they would be influenced etc. If you can afford to buy industry data, this is very worthwhile.
- Pick the easiest and most cost-effective opportunity to communicate with your consumers from your focus groups. Social media is one of the best ways of marketing and communicating today but you need to have the skills – if you don’t, employ a young grad or give them a project to do on a contract basis. Last year, Australians spent more time online than watching TV, and social media is a low-cost form of marketing.
- Invest in strategic PR. Publicity is more valuable than advertising. It’s easy to get publicity with effective writing, by nurturing the right relationships and remembering to follow up. If you don’t have the skills in-house, engage a small PR agency, which will be hungry for your business.
- Use strategic partners to help your dollars deliver a higher result. Pick other products that your consumers may relate to (for example, if you are targeting young men, what else do they do or buy?).
Approach those companies for joint promotions. This way, you double your marketing budget and get the credibility of other brands. But choose carefully, and make sure the strategic partner will add value to your image.
- Ask lots of questions – ask your printers for smart ways to save money, ask your retailers what they think is the best promotion, ask the media and strategic partners what works for them.