With the credit crunch biting hard, every man and his dog is advising businesses on how much to spend on marketing. Not to be outdone, we’ve put together some crunch-busting tips for you. Remember, clients want to buy from successful – not struggling – businesses. So, publicise good news and keep your name out there.
01. Segment your database. Consider concentrating your spending on top-performing segments. The quality of digital print means you can use smaller print runs for targeting these areas. Then you can focus on lower-performing segments when the outlook is rosier.
02. Measure everything. Put a media code on everything you print and make sure call handlers collect it. Also use a unique URL on every online initiative and measure the statistics. Excel may be a pain, but it’s the best tool for identifying where you’re getting your best return on investment.
03. Keep the cash rolling. Cash flow can be a killer, so why not spread the risk? Offering a product that’s popular to new markets at a reduced margin should keep turnover ticking over. It may also deliver some longer-term clients for your premium-priced products and services.
04. Invest in PR. What’s that? A design agency extolling the virtues of PR? Well, needs must when the FD drives. A good creative PR agency can cover some of the shortfall if display advertising was axed from your yearly planner.
05. Consider your positioning. During the post-911 market wobble, Walmart launched its hugely successful ‘Everyday low prices’. A new strapline could be position your company as value for money if your competitors are occupying ‘premium’ space.
06. Invest in research. There’s nothing like a bit of belt-tightening to help people focus on opening customers’ wallets. So start researching customers and targets. It might just deliver the honest answers you’re looking for.
07. Product packaging. Even done well, display advertising is expensive with a low return on investment. Point of sale can be better. Refreshing your packaging is the most cost-effective way of making your consumer products standout on the shelf.
08. Go online. Not only is it fully measurable, but cost-effective search engine optimisation, adwords and affiliate marketing are an ideal way of ensnaring new consumers or B2B customers – 65% of which start searching for suppliers on a search engine.
09. Write first draft copy. You know your customers and what you want to tell them. A simple way of cutting copywriting costs is to write a first draft for a copywriter to edit. It will reduce the need for loads of interviews and research, save you money, and should ensure you don’t miss key messages.
10. View marketing as an investment, not an expense. Rather than cut back on marketing spend, review your strategy. It’s important to build your brand but you need to focus on generating leads. Also, follow up leads effectively because this isn’t the time to waste hard-won opportunities.