News & Events
#018 – Marketing on a Budget Tasters
- 1st November 2017
- Posted by: Liz Gordon
- Category: Episodes
I am sure this subject is going to resonate with a lot of our listeners – we’re going to be talking about Marketing on a Budget.
Brilliant, let’s get started. Well, basically, products and services don’t sell themselves. All too often though we hear of startup businesses, who allocate precious little to their marketing budget, who then face critical decisions when their business fails to take off.
I know, it is one of the biggest contributing factors to business failure. It’s so easy to think of marketing as a luxury when you’re working to a tight budget but it is so important.Download transcript 393kb
©The Marketing Menu 2017. All rights reserved.
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all. Consider two shops in the same town. One with a strong High Street presence and good footfall, the other tucked away up a quieter street. The first will obviously have higher rent and rateable costs so hopefully will have to spend less on marketing than the other whose costs are lower but whose marketing need is greater.
It’s the same for a new business over an established one who may have a loyal customer base. Marketing spend for a new company that needs to establish themselves quickly, you would think is going to be greater than with the established company.
Yes, that company, in order not to stand still, will need to grow and retain their market. Overall, then, their individual spend may be the same however their focus will be different, with the first concentrating on market and product development and the second placing greater emphasis on market penetration and potentially diversification. All said,
So let’s give the listeners some tips to get started! We’re going to talk about the basics of making sure you are targeting the right people and then we’ll discuss practical things you can do later in the podcast.
Great, so firstly you need to consider ‘time’ and allocate a cost to it – are you best placed to be running this activity – what’s ‘your’ price point?
Then look at what stage is your business at – are you a start up, growing, changing, or selling up? Businesses should allocate a percentage of actual or projected gross revenue – usually between 3-5 percent for established business marketing and between 5-10 percent for start-up marketing.
But again allocation depends on several factors: your industry, the size of your business, and its stage of growth. For example, during the early brand-building years, retail businesses spend much more than other businesses on marketing – up to 20 percent of gross revenue.
So, a marketing budget is a component of the marketing action plan and should be split between brand development costs and promotion. Once you have developed your marketing plan and budget, it shouldn’t be fixed or inflexible.
True, there may be times when you need to throw in some unplanned activity, at the end of the day, knowing whether the spend is helping you achieve your marketing goals is more important than sticking to a budget.
I guess it’s important to mention here that you need to know WHY you’re spending money on marketing.
Good point! You’re going to talk about planning again, aren’t you?!
Don’t we always?! It’s true, if you haven’t got a plan for what you want to achieve, how will you know how best to allocate your precious resources?
Absolutely! Is your focus to increase sales, convert leads to sales, retain customers, enhance your reputation, or even innovate by breaking into new markets or developing new products?
Today’s customers and consumers are very tuned in to the marketing messages they receive in all forms and they are so sophisticated now, they are actually controlling the messages they receive.
This is so true, they are able to choose from any competitors from anywhere around the globe, they are cost sensitive, they are quality aware and they are time tight.
People are getting cynical when they watch TV advertising which is scary when you consider this used to be the holy grail of advertising.
I know and people are bored by glossy magazine advertising, they actually are suffering from advertising fatigue and even if you try to reach them using today’s technology, 68% of email is spam and if you count unsolicited emails that figure is more likely 90%. Listeners, it will be really interesting to hear what our next guest speaker has to say about this because she is Karen Brar from Redwood Advertising so she will be telling us all about the best ways to reach our target audiences.
That’s on 15th November, isn’t it? I’m really looking forward to that!
So back to marketing on a budget when you have an audience who are bombarded with messages all day every day. We need to carefully hone our message to our “ideal” customer, then we may win a customer for life.
Yes, so right back to Podcast 04 when we talked about What makes your customer tick and Creating a Buyer Persona. We need to identify these “ideal” customers by considering them in relation to age, gender, lifestyle, buying patterns, developing needs, location, attitude leisure activities and interests, to name a few.
Think about why are they buying from you and what is likely to be their primary motive? Knowing this will help ensure your solution is better than your competitors and that your marketing is more cleverly and efficiently targeted?
Consider dividing your audience into groups based on differing needs, so that you interact with them in different ways. Who are your primary customers? Who are your secondary and or audiences? Who else can you target? Is there a group that you haven’t yet managed to reach? Do you have an audience of “Influential Customers” who can share your message with others? Who will be your customers in 5 years, in 10 or 15? What key messages will best resonate with each of these, once you have identified them?
Now, this might seem really detailed, but when you haven’t got much money to spend, it’s crucial that you know exactly who it is you want to reach, to find out how best to communicate with them and what language you should use.
Consider using different marketing techniques. Each time, think about the kind of problems your customer has, what are their needs and desires. Then write compelling copy for each about your product or service that creates desire, provokes a reaction and reveals a benefit.
Yes, it’s all about selling the benefits and providing a solution.
Make sure each marketing message achieves 4 primary responses: Attention, interest, desire and action. It’s actually a marketing theory called AIDA.
Isn’t that an opera?
Yes, I think it is! You’re so classy!
Use strong calls to action in your literature, website or advertisement copy. Are you wanting them to sign up for your newsletter, call you, book ahead or recommend you to others for example? Many marketers and advertisers miss this point.
And don’t consider your customer in isolation. In other words, see your customer as a relationship built up over time and consider their net worth or lifetime value and reward loyalty appropriately.
I know, it takes 4 times more effort and therefore resources to build new customers rather than service those already known to you. Use this knowledge wisely. Always consider the true worth of each customer or each product sale to ensure you are prioritising your most profitable lines or customers first.
This seems like a good time to remind listeners that we offer a transcript will all our podcasts which you can find on our website themarketingmenu.com and we are active on social media, as we should be as we talk about the importance of it all the time, so you can find us on Twitter & Facebook posting and sharing good solid marketing tips and tricks.
And do please share these podcasts if you enjoy them as we’d love to reach as many as possible – don’t forget our podcasts are published every fortnight on a Wednesday on iTunes, Blubrry, Stitcher & TuneIn.
So, we’ve talked about being clear about who our audience are but what practical things can be done on a small budget, Nicky?
Well, here goes! There are many ways you can get your message in front of people and a lot of them are completely free.
Oh, go on!
How about asking for referrals? It seems so obvious but how many of us are a bit embarrassed about asking? Most people if they have had great service or really loved a product are only too happy to recommend you. And don’t forget to ask for a testimonial while you’re there – that’s excellent marketing collateral for your website and social media.
Good start! And added to that, you could reward your existing customers in some way with a discount or freebie – as we say, share the love! It builds goodwill and is a great way of staying in touch with them.
You could consider doing a free talk about what you do at a business networking meeting or maybe invite the public to a demonstration of your product on your premises. No obligation, make it a fun event and it automatically raises your profile.
Obviously, social media is free, unless you are paying for advertising which is still an economical way of doing it, but the daily posting is free, apart from your time, so make sure you are active and visible. Don’t forget to share others posts and comment as that will expose you to an even bigger audience.
That’s right, when you comment on someone else’s posts, your name or business name is displayed and hopefully, people will want to check you out because you have posted a really interesting comment!
Following on from that, if you haven’t already done it, think about writing a blog. Again there are plenty of free blogging platforms so it really is just the time it takes you to do it. We’ve talked before about what a great way this to show your expertise and knowledge and to make sure you are of interest to your audience.
That’s raised a good point actually, how about producing a unique piece of insight or research? You don’t need to be an academic to do this. If you have particular insight into a specific area, put your findings and evaluation on paper (or electronically but you know what I mean!).
Which leads nicely to writing a beginners guide. Do you do something that most people find complicated? If we were thinking of doing it, and maybe we should, we could write a Beginners Guide to Recording a Podcast!
We’re still learning, Nicky!
Indeed we are but you get my point! Is there some knowledge that you can share to make people’s lives easier?
Running a regular email campaign or producing an e-newsletter is another easy way of staying in touch with your customers. They don’t need to be lengthy – maybe cover 2 or 3 stories, offers or news but make it consistent. Even if you only do them quarterly.
Stay on top of seasonal opportunities too. Are there any celebrations that you can tap into like Valentines Day, Mothers or Fathers Day, Black Friday, National Vegetarian Week etc. Make sure you know when these dates are at the beginning of the year and you can plan your promotions around them and even have stories ready to go when the time comes.
Is your business on all the local free business listing sites or are there any opportunities to have an ad in a local free newspaper? With all the emphasis on digital now, it’s easy to forget that people still read those freebies that come through the door.
We covered Networking in Podcast 5 so tune in to that so hear us talk more about how networking can work as part of your marketing strategy. There are bound to be loads of networking meetings in your area – check them out and see which ones you feel comfortable in. Some will require you to pay a membership fee or just pay for breakfast/lunch but again it’s a great way to raise your profile and meet with like-minded people.
Yes, even checking out Eventbrite for free events that are relevant to your business is worth doing. And don’t forget to take those all important business cards with you! Make sure they are well designed and eye-catching so people remember you.
Well, listeners, these are just a few ideas for you to think about if you are working with a restricted marketing budget but the important thing is to maximise every opportunity.
Yes indeed. That brings us to the end of this podcast so thank you for tuning in and we hope you enjoyed our suggestions, Let us know if you use any of them and how you get on.
Just a reminder of what we mentioned earlier, our next podcast on 15th November will be with Karen Brar from Redwood Advertising which should be fantastic!
Looking forward to it already! So it’s goodbye from me, Liz
And from me, Nicky, goodbye.
©The Marketing Menu 2017. All rights reserved.