During this recession, many companies are cutting back their marketing budgets and becoming as lean as possible to stay afloat, but is this the right tactic? Should businesses be taking risks or laying low? There may be evidence that now is the time to be taking risks and making your brand known.
Big brand companies such as Toys ‘R’ US, Proctor & Gamble, and Fiat are taking advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace by purchasing competitors. Another big risk taker is Microsoft with the release of Bing, a search engine to compete with powerhouse Google.
Regardless of the size of your business, large or small, a company needs to be aware of the needs in the market and how to utilize the marketing budget to reach their target demographic.
Here are 5 quick tips from Jamie King, President of Euro RSCG Chicago, for managing your marketing budget:
- Prioritize your spending on the most important objective – spend on the objective that will pay off first.
- Don’t get rid of the discretionary budget line – even though it’s not of importance and can be done without, it may be the boost you need to take advantage of opportunities that arise.
- Own a space in any media medium – put your brand out there and make it known; whether it is radio or digital, etc.
- Use customers as advocates for your business – a high customer satisfaction rate leads to positive word of mouth for your business.
- Optimize all your assets – employees, company vehicles, your buildings, etc. are all a part of your assets; make them a part of your branding strategy.
Engaging your customers is most important and can be utilized effectively through social media tools such as Twitter and YouTube. Remember, no risk may be the biggest risk of all.
B2B Customers want something they can takeaway from a purchase, website, e-mail blast, etc; something of value to them. A takeaway is the lasting impression left on your audience after engaging with your brand, reading an email message or interacting with a customer service representative. A takeaway affects what steps they take next should be tied to your call-to-action.
According to Ardath Albee of the Marketing Interactions Blog, a good takeaway is:
- Conceptual – generates an idea your content helped spark
- Conversational – inspires sharing of that idea in the their own words
- Recommendable – promotes people to pass the content along to others
- Transferable – applicable to their own specific situations
- Visual – something they can “see” happening—not pie-in-the-sky thinking
Remember, a good takeaway should focus on your customer, not on your business. Make sure you consider your audience’s needs, desires and perspectives in your messaging. What lasting impression do you want to leave on your targets?
Marketing plans should be developed strategically; the end goal to deliver leads to your sales force. A compelling call to action in an email, direct mail or other advertisement can generate warm leads by establishing an initial relationship between your company and your prospects. In one to one marketing a meaningful, valuable offer can open a conversation and drive sales. When brainstorming what offer you will extend, consider what might your prospect need that will make their job easier.
Examples of offers that generate results:
- Invitation to Topical Webinar
- Market Report
- Free Assessment
- Invitation to an Event
- Guide or Handbook
- Sample of Product
- Special Savings Coupon
- Gift card
When choosing an offer – think strategically. What offer that will be perceived as having the most value to your prospects? What will open the lines of communication?
What have you tried that worked?
Email marketing can be an effective and cost-efficient marketing tactic. It allows you to connect with customers by creating top of mind awareness of a product or service, cultivate an ongoing relationship and compel recipients to take action.
Consider just a few ways you can use email marketing to drive sales:
*Position your business as the leader in your field by sharing breaking news and developments in your industry.
*Drive traffic to your website with embedded links.
*Be eco-friendly and use email instead of snail-mail –this can earn you green cred!
*Respond quickly to market conditions with messages that arrive in recipient’s mailboxes in hours vs. days.
*Offer special discounts or coupons for email recipients.
*Encourage referrals through contests and exclusive offers.
Perhaps best of all – email marketing is trackable. Easily monitor who opens your email, who clicks through and who forwards the message. We marketers love tactics we can measure!
What are you waiting for – start collecting your permission-based email list now!