We’ve all been faced with a situation in life when we haven’t necessarily got the funds to simply buy what we want or need. Being canny with a budget and creative in our approach is an important part of life. Having these skills in the business world is an essential requirement.
When it comes to marketing it can be daunting to deliver a strategy on a modest budget. Traditionally making a big noise required the budget to back it up. Large print ads, TV commercials, celebrity endorsements, radio jingles, billboards – all tools in the armoury of marketing departments and all relatively expensive.
Yet the modern world – and the technology that the world is obsessed with – plays into the hands of those looking to be canny and creative. There are essentially three things you must do to create an inventive strategy when on a budget: plan properly, embrace new technology, and share your wisdom.
If money is tight then you need to get it right. You need to be specific and you need to plan everything properly. How much money do you have exactly? What does your strategy have to achieve? Who does it need to reach? Ask yourself important questions and ask important questions of your target market so that you are clear before you begin.
Often by focusing solely on the essential goals you can deliver a focussed campaign that is successful. By setting out a good, well-researched plan you can track performance and monitor costs at all stages.
You also need to plan in advance. Rushed, last minute campaigns are likely to attract greater cost.
Digital can disrupt
One of the very best things about the technological advancements of recent years when it comes to marketing is that they have greatly reduced the cost of getting your message across.
Expensive print runs for big batches of flyers can be replaced, for example, by sending out a large batch of SMS messages. It’s quicker too. If sending too many SMS sounds like it’s going to be painful for your thumbs don’t worry. Technology exists to send hundreds or thousands of messages in seconds. People much prefer a text, too, to a leaflet pushed through their door.
Videos no longer need to be made for television or cinema screens – YouTube and social media have reduced the barriers to getting these to your customers.
You should harness social media well. This is your chance to show a human face for your brand and create content that can be shared by your customers who, in this scenario, act as ambassadors for you. It’s powerful, effective and does not come with a big cost.
In general you should think about how digital technology can deliver some of the traditional marketing methods at a fraction of the cost. Stage a virtual trade show, for example, use eye-catching poster images on Facebook instead of billboards and pay for web banners instead of print ads.
Don’t confine yourself to the short term. One way to boost your marketing efforts is through content. Set yourself up as a thought leader through sound, well-written blog posts on your own website and offer your services as a guest writer for good, relevant industry websites.
In the long-term being a thought leader will establish your brand as something to be respected and will help you to have greater authority when marketing new products, services and practices. If you have a flair for writing and interesting thoughts to share, this can be a lucrative long-term way of extending your marketing efforts in a cost-effective way.
Plan properly, embrace digital and use content smartly and you’ll deliver a winning creative strategy at a cut price.