Quite often in small business we can experience a healthy gap between the investment we would like to make towards our marketing activity and the investment we are capable of making.
You may be experiencing budgetary constraints or simply be having some challenges convincing the financial gate keepers that your marketing is a sound investment.
Whatever the reason, at one time or another we all have to prioritise what stays and what goes from the wish list of marketing activity. Either that – or we work out how we can do it for less money.
The question begs though from many a small business owner; is it actually possible to cut corners in marketing, without it affecting the overall result?
Well, the good news is, is that it is entirely possible to find savvy savings when it comes to your marketing.
I spend the majority of my days working with small budgets and achieving big results. In fact I find that working to the constraints of a small budget actually encourages you to be way more creative with your approach. It activates the hustle in me!
Unfortunately though, there is not really a straight forward formula to working out where and on what you can cut corners. It will depend on your business situation.
Your marketing strategy will help you prioritise your spend and here’s how:
Within your marketing strategy, you will have outlined some key business goals and objectives.
You also will have defined who your customer is and what makes them tick. Ideally, in the detail that you have about your target audience, you will have noted where they look for information about the solution that you provide. You will know their demographics and most importantly you will know what’s important to them. This could be defined in values, problems they might have, purchase habits that you know about etc.
Your marketing strategy will also define just what it is that makes you different from your competitors as well as what makes you valuable to your customer. This is called your Unique Selling Point.
If you know all of this, you can start to make decisions as to where to prioritise your marketing spend.
Let me provide an example scenario to illustrate;
Say you are a legal firm specialising in commercial legal services for small business. You are incredibly good at what you do and your team hold a high level of expertise in your field. You wish to position yourselves as leaders in your field that provide a premium service. You are priced accordingly.
Your target consumer is a small business owner of a professional service organisation. They value professionalism and reputation. They want to be able to trust their law firm. They are ridiculously time-poor so they value convenience. They are smart, so they are keen and capable of understanding the legal process a little and this comprehension contributes to their trust and loyalty levels for your organisation.
Your unique selling point is the sheer amount of expertise that your firm boasts in comparison to others in your field. You have a solid reputation and an incredible nous for building relationships with your clients. This provides them peace-of-mind that their legal investment is in good hands and provides excellent value for money.
So, in this scenario, there are a couple of examples of how we can prioritise spend.
Where we don’t cut corners
Firstly, we are positioning ourselves as premium service providers. So, we certainly don’t cut corners on brand touch points. Our logos, brand colours, font and photography all form a solid first impression and create a clear signal of your unwavering professionalism and eminence.
Where we perhaps can cut costs
The target audience for this firm is quite niche, so we can probably look for more direct marketing activity that is targeted directly to small business owners of professional service organisations. Publishing a consistent level of thought leadership content on LinkedIn from the key Lawyers within the firm would be a low financial investment. The only cost here would be time to create the content.
There will be plenty of ways for you to employ out-of-the-box thinking about where you might be able to save a few bob with your marketing. As long as you are guided by your marketing strategy, you will be able to make well-informed decisions about how to execute the low and high cost, high impact activity that can help you achieve your marketing and business goals.
Learn from all of our best practice marketing tips, tricks, hacks and insight collected from over ten years of providing marketing advice to small businesses.