17 Methods To Overcome Advertising Price range Limits
PHOTO: John Cameron
One of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs, small business owners, and marketers was how to use their marketing dollars as effectively and efficiently as possible. This is especially true at times like these when we are all grappling with the aftermath of the pandemic, political upheaval and social unrest in the US and much of the world.
As a result of the downturn, many companies and organizations have withdrawn their marketing and branding efforts and are adopting a defensive, wait and see attitude. But is that a smart move? I would argue no for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, for many, tighter marketing budgets are a reality, at least for the time being. Therefore, it is crucial to address this challenge head on in an intelligent and methodical way.
Ensuring Smart, Purposeful Growth for a Texas County
Wood County is located in beautiful east Texas. The county is probably best known for its thick pine forests and scenic lakes, particularly Lake Fork Reservoir. According to the Chamber of Commerce, Lake Fork is known as “one of the premier trophy bass fishing lakes in the world, holding the top 6 and 33 of the top 50 Texas trout record largemouth bass”. And Wood County has a number of other attractive assets. How does it use smart marketing to effectively manage its growth even in a weak economy?
In addition to being a successful media manager, entrepreneur, and real estate investor, Vic Savelli is a member of the Wood County Economic Development Commission (EDC) board of directors and chairman of the marketing committee. During his career, Savelli has worked with hundreds of advertisers – from small local businesses to the largest national advertisers – with annual marketing budgets ranging from thousands to tens of millions of dollars.
“A common mistake made by advertisers, regardless of size, is reducing their ad budgets during difficult times and, in many cases, eliminating them entirely,” said Savelli. “It is believed that as sales decline, they will need to cut marketing costs to maintain their profit margins. Unfortunately, this tactic will ensure lower sales and long-term profits, and as the situation improves, it will make a more difficult recovery.”
“However, the lack of competing advertising messages gives the savvy marketer a distinct advantage,” added Savelli. “Fewer advertisers, combined with less clutter, make your marketing message stand out better. Economic downturns allow companies to gain market share. When the economy recovers, they can actually be rewarded with sustained increases in sales and profits.”
“This doesn’t mean, of course, that marketers should disregard profit and loss pressures and budget considerations. However, downturns offer a unique opportunity to find more effective ways to market your news. Old practices should be reviewed and, if necessary, justified in favor of more efficient ones Eliminated rifle shots for the target audience. “
“For Wood County EDC, these efficiencies will be achieved by more effectively narrowing messaging to three main audience pillars: 1) travel and tourism, 2) new residents, and 3) new businesses,” said Savelli. “By delving deeper into each of the pillars and determining which goals are most beneficial within each category (such as what size company is best and what activities the county has for tourists), we can determine our advertising budgets, marketing news, and media are customized to reach only the most important prospects. While the three main pillars are different, they also have similarities. By identifying these similarities, some of the motives can be shared across the goals. And this consistency increases efficiency. “
Related article: Agile Marketing Your Way Through the Next Recession
17 Pros And Cons Of Marketing In Downtime
Using Savelli’s points, marketers can take a number of steps – regardless of what type of company or organization they work for – to correct potential budget gaps and get the most out of a difficult situation. Here are my personal top 17 dos and don’ts:
- Review your overall marketing goals and strategies by updating your SWOT analysis. Then make sure your budget is aligned with the initiatives that will best leverage your company’s strengths and opportunities while protecting against its weaknesses and threats.
- Don’t spend your entire budget on promoting your customers and prospects. Instead, focus on educating them.
- Find out which marketing strategies, tactics, and techniques have worked well in the past, and then replicate them.
- Carefully analyze your competition and determine how you can better compete against them.
- Don’t try to do everything manually. For example, see how marketing automation can help you improve your conversion rates, create a lean, medium-sized marketing engine, and become more efficient overall.
- Organize and analyze your marketing data to look for ways to put the emphasis on what works well and reduce the emphasis on what doesn’t.
- Develop detailed personas that can be used to make your marketing campaigns more strategic.
- Do not commit random acts of marketing. Instead, set your priorities based on which strategic and tactical initiatives and activities align with your marketing and branding plan and / or generate the highest ROI.
- Focus more on the time, effort, and money trying to retain and sell your existing customers than on the more expensive method of finding new customers.
- Reuse your best performing content by republishing it in different formats and on different platforms.
- Don’t try to be active on every social media channel. Pick one or two that will best suit your customers and prospects and be very good at them.
- Experiment with paid advertising campaigns on Google, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms. You are a lot more efficient than you might think. Video ads on Facebook can be especially effective.
- Try using free wire services for press releases like OpenPR, IssueWire, NewswireToday, ClickPress, or PR Fire.
- Don’t forget about email marketing. This is still one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your customers and prospects.
- Post informative, compelling posts on your blog on a regular basis.
- Encourage verbal transfers from your existing customers. For many companies, referrals are the primary source of new business.
- Take advantage of inexpensive freelance help from online services like Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru when it makes sense.
Related article: Reduce Marketing Costs While Improving Business Performance
A different marketing mindset
Some executives – especially small business CEOs and CFOs – tend to view marketing and branding as a cost of line items. But I would argue that in reality this is completely the opposite. Instead, think of your marketing budget as an investment account that pays off by securing the future of your business.
And I am not alone with this view.
Marketing guru Seth Godin famously said, “When you market on a relatively static annual budget, you view marketing as an expense. Good marketers recognize that this is an investment. “
Kent Huffman is the CEO and Fractional CMO for DigiMark Partners and East Texas Marketing, LLC. Huffman is a results-driven B2B and B2C marketing director, brand manufacturer, growth driver, customer experience advocate, change agent, and published book author.