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Save money and be clever with your budget

It doesn’t have to cost the earth to get your message across!

Looking at the marketing budgets of the world’s biggest brands can be enough to make anyone feel rather envious.

For example, with the £6.8 billion that Pampers and Gillette each got through in 2016 you could run an amazing worldwide campaign and still have change left over to hire a robot butler or something.

What if you could go wild and spend the £3.2 billion that Coca-Cola slurped its way through last year, or the £3.5 billion that Ford spent? Having a massive budget like this to play with would definitely make life easier for you but what if you just have to deal with more humble numbers?

You can make your marketing budget stretch further and enjoy seeing how you can get as much mileage as possible out of it by bearing some important points in mind.

Tailor Your Campaign to Your Needs  

If every company on the planet were to employ the same marketing techniques then can you imagine how terrible that would be? Apart from making turning on the TV or going online a nightmare, it simply wouldn’t work for more modest budgets.

The starting point for any successful marketing campaign on a budget lies in identifying your needs. What type of customer do you want to appeal to, what are their interests and how can you make them trust and like you?

If your customers want a classy, luxury product then a cheap and cheerful ad campaign about saving money isn’t going to get them excited. Equally, if you offer something that is aimed at shoe-string shoppers then you aren’t likely to convince them with glossy, posh ads in Toff’s Monthly or the Bentley Owner’s Digest.

By tightly tailoring your marketing to your needs you will waste as little money as possible. After all, why spend your valuable budget on reaching out to people who have no interest in what you do?

Find the Approach That Works Best for You

Have you ever wondered why some giant companies seem to have a finger in every marketing pie? Well, I guess there are a few billion reasons listed above but you probably can’t afford the same scattergun approach to reaching people.

Therefore, it makes sense to work out as early as possible what is more likely to appeal to your target customers and then stick to it. Are they big internet users who spend all day on Facebook or are they likely to come across you more easily in a newspaper or on television?

Once you find a winning formula you should feel comfortable carrying on with it to keep the business rolling in. This will let you work out how much you need for each campaign a lot more easily every time, rather than skipping haphazardly from one approach to another on a regular basis.

Don’t Go Crazy Spending Money

Are you at risk of turning into a corporate version of the Beverly Hillbillies? Sure, you might not play the banjo and get involved in weekly comedic misunderstandings but newfound wealth can affect you in a number of ways.

Some companies go a bit crazy when they come into a lot of money and set about burning through it as quickly as possible.

Will you now go for glossy, full colour brochures and hire a giant marketing team? Maybe you will start running over-blown marketing events in posh hotels where a bottle of water costs you the profit earned from several sales?

Apart from being a waste of money, this could also see you lose touch with your client base as well. If they think that you have gone too far upmarket then they might assume that you are now no longer interested in their business.

They might even fear that you are going to start charging more in order to keep up your supply of Wagyu sandwiches and melted iceberg water for team meetings.

If you find an approach that works then there is no need to start splashing the cash just because you are doing well. More money doesn’t always mean better marketing.

Use a Modular Approach

A problem that leaves many marketing teams scratching their heads is that of trying to appeal to different markets with a single product. If you take the same approach everywhere then it might not work, while a completely new marketing campaign with unique literature for each market could be too expensive.

In this case, it makes perfect sense to try the modular way of doing things. This might sound uncomfortably like the horrors of putting flat-pack furniture together at home but there is far less chance of you ending up slowly rocking back and forward while surrounded by loads of left-over screws and bolts.

Modular marketing literature will typically start off with a main section that covers the details that don’t change from one market to the next. After that, it is a question of slotting in the rest of the details for each relevant market.

This will let you keep costs down while also tailoring your approach in each market.

Outsource at a Reasonable Cost

Outsourcing some marketing tasks can be a clever move when you don’t have the skills in-house. There might not be enough work in this area to justify full-time salaries but you still want to be able to draw on the right talent whenever you need it.

In this case, you will be tempted to bring in some outside expertise but do you need to pay a king’s ransom for it?  Well, it is clear that you might want to splash out a little extra to bring in someone highly experienced to give you fresh ideas and to start up a new campaign professionally.

However, there are also a number of tasks that can be done at a much lower cost. Cold-calling, compiling databases and sending out tons of emails are all things that you can save money on with a minimum of effort.

Don’t get frustrated with a relatively paltry marketing budget. Instead, you can see stretching it as far as possible as being an enjoyable challenge.