A good business practice is to look at your marketing spend from time to time, do a rationale-check and evaluate if the existing marketing cost structure realises the desired ROI.
The overall idea is to track the areas that bleed money and control them without actually affecting the business or the customers.
Here are a few street-smart solutions to help you decide what can be cut in marketing expenditure without affecting the business growth.
Know your Customers
• A major key is to know your consumer, to think like they think and know where they are so that you can reach out to them.
• Leverage existing customer base to grow more customers. Remember that word of mouth travels faster and cheaper.The potential of growth thus increases without a concurrent increase in marketing expenditure.
Assess and revise your product line if necessary. Try to work out lower cost solutions if possible.
• Check out the grey areas where advertising isn’t yielding much gain.Analyze where your sales come from and then allocate your budget to a handful of top-performing product lines.
• Assess whether the cost of placing an advertisement in yellow pages, newspapers justifies the sale it brings or will you be better off by sending customized emails to your existing/potential customer database.
• If giveaways and freebies are burning a hole in your budget, then review your situation and try to work around your limitations. For example, in place of printing colorful full-length calendars, opt for pocket sized ones.Another effective route is to give cash vouchers to your customers. This will prompt them into buying more.
Agreed that it is tough to compete with big business budgets but strategizing smartly can yield you the same results in lesser costs. Today social media has taken marketing and branding to a new level altogether and small businesses are seeing tremendous results in spite of spending less. This is what you can do:
• Build your own website
• Blog about your products/services range, industry pain-points, eco-system.
• Get viral with Facebook or Twitter
Do not cut the marketing budget randomly. First evaluate whether the new adjustments will be able to achieve the same objectives. The idea is to cut on the marketing expenditure without hampering the business growth.
Market Research is the process of obtaining information about markets, products or competitors. All business strategies, whether for new ventures or existing operations, should be backed by a well-done market research. It is also a very effective tool to deal with competition.