Four Ways to Market Your Business on a Limited Budget
A recent Infogroup survey of businesses indicated nearly 60% expected their marketing budget to be flat in 2012. How can a company stretch its marketing dollars to increase customer acquisition and improve retention, and maximize business success in 2012?
The following are ideas you can implement quickly to get more from your marketing budget.
1. Co-marketing With Select Business Partners
Consider running a campaign in partnership with another company that sells a product or service complementary to yours.
Here are some examples:
- Architect with a construction company.
- Retailer with a local fitness club.
- Manufacturer with a key distributor
- Graphic designer with an ad sales rep
- Using this marketing partnership approach will allow you to reach the same amount of potential customers using less of your own marketing funds.
2. Simplified Website Management
A business website is critical in today's competitive business environment. A majority of your customers are using the Internet to find information about products and services like yours. Even if your business already has a website, you should update its content frequently to ensure customers access the most up-to-date information about your products and promotions.
Technology now exists to turn what used to be an expensive proposition – building, hosting, and updating a website – into a very affordable and effective marketing tool. Today, companies provide Web hosting services with pre-built websites that you can easily populate with your company's content and imagery. Just as importantly, you can refresh your site as often as needed in the most cost-effective way.
Subscribing to a web hosting service removes the cost of purchasing hardware and software, and gives your marketing function a more flexible way to stay in tune with customers' needs.
3. Open Houses with Key Influencers in Attendance
Local influencers like legislators, journalists and current customers can be a key source of good will and prospects for your company. The key to leveraging influencers in a cost-effective manner is to get them to interact with as many prospects at one time as possible.
An excellent way to achieve this is by holding an "open house" at your place of business. Invite the influencers. If possible, invite prospects personally. Ensure that the function takes place during a time when maximum attendance is possible, such as early evening during a weekday. Give the influencers many ways to interact with your prospects, dedicating time for personal networking and using interactive meeting techniques such as small-team breakout sessions.
Before the event concludes, make sure you have collected the names of all attendees and a course of follow-up action. By allowing prospects to see your operation "up close and personal," you have skipped ahead several steps in the sales cycle, driving efficient marketing spending.
4. Measure, Analyze, Improve
Finally, measuring everything you do in terms of marketing is a must. There really is no other way to understand which tactics work the best, and why.
Start by tracking and recording the number of responses each marketing tactic delivers. This will allow you to determine which ones are more effective. Alternatively, you can divide the number of responses for each tactic by its cost. This gives you a way to compare tactics by their efficiency.
A marketing measurement program will ensure you focus on the better performing tactics and get the most out of your marketing budget.
These tips are intended to produce rapid, measurable increases in marketing performance, through broader market coverage, more efficient website communications, and better leverage of your key influencers. Each tactic can be implemented quickly, providing a quick start to getting more from your marketing budget.
In this article, we referenced Web Hosting services as a way to create and maintain a professional web presence in an efficient and affordable manner. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers several tiers of Web Hosting. To learn more about the service and which plan is right for your business, contact your local TWCBC Account Manager.
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