Slash and Burn Marketing?
Is your company slashing its marketing budget? In tight economic times, organizations tend to take extreme measures. Is this the most successful way for your brands to make it through economic belt tightening? Cost containment is wise, but nimble adjustments and clearer trend tracking will likely pay off in the long run. So how do you get the most out of the money that your company IS spending? Here are some tips.
Start by getting back in touch with your old customers. It’s easy to ignore those loyal, known and often predictable accounts, but they are often your most likely source for new business. Give those loyal followers a call, send a note, or drop them an email. Let them know that they have not been forgotten, and use them as a resource for finding out how your company is doing in servicing them. Do they have any needs that you haven’t met, regardless of whether your company currently offers what they need or not? --Plenty of new product lines and services have been hatched through simply asking about what is needed versus spending months' worth of resources in costly brainstorming, development and market rollout efforts.
Next, offer a free sample. Think of yourself as one of those friendly apron-wearers standing in the grocery aisle, offering shoppers a tantalizing morsel to try. Approximately 5%-10% of shoppers will buy the product immediately, and more will file the flavor in their mind under "positive experience" and will choose to purchase the product at a later time. Allocate part of your marketing budget to these kinds of giveaways. If you haven’t done this before, now is the time. This strategy is often overlooked. Think of Google, which spent the thin profit years banking users, and was poised to make significant profits when its advertisement program (Google Ads) started. Now is the prime time for your organization to “bank users” the way Google did.
Now, consider: Are your advertising efforts focused? Really? Reassess where your advertising budget (or what is left of it) is being spent. We live in a new world of niche markets; the era of "keeping your name in front of the public" is irrelevant. It is low-yield and probably has a low response rate, especially if it appears in a non-specific media publication.
Finally, with every client interaction, ask yourself what the specific offer and call to action is. Whether it is a friendly phone call, a printed ad, email contact, or other media, let your counterparts know what you want. I am always amazed at the people who make a sales call and never quite get to stating what they want. If you have always been squeamish about this process, now is the time to get comfortable with it. This is the crux of why you have spent all the other marketing dollars! Take your chance to make a sale when opportunity enters the room.
As you can see, even in the face of "slash and burn" marketing budgets, you can make an impact. Shift the funds you have, in order to follow the changing needs and desires of your client base.