Today’s article comes from SmartBiz.com. In this post byÂ Mark Kolier, President and Founder of CGSM, he brings up great point on how to get the most for your money! Always great to find money saving tips. Enjoy!
Almost every company has been forced to cut spending. Employees are being shown the door in increasingly alarmingÂ numbers. And marketingÂ budgetsÂ and marketers? It seems first theÂ budgetÂ is cut and then you are.
Smart marketers know that recessions also present opportunities that donâ€™t exist when times are good. Increasing market share while the competition frets about expenses, should be at the top of your priority list.
Here are 8 â€˜budgetÂ consciousâ€™ tips to give your marketing initiatives maximum impact:
1) Focus on customer service as your top priority. Why do people keep coming back toÂ AmazonÂ andÂ Zappos.com? Unparalleled customer service. It doesnâ€™t matter what they sell. Just how they do business.
2) Ensure your website offers a customer-friendly experience. Task outsiders to continually test your website for functionality and intuitive navigation. Always test new ideas and looks. Your website should not be static, since consumerâ€™s tastes are continually evolving. Will video increase customer engagement? If you never try you will never know. And donâ€™t talk yourself out of an idea because you think it might be too expensive. Check out the costs first; you may be surprised.
3) Partner to reach more customers. Barter your customer names inÂ tradeÂ with a complementary product or service and market to those names. Yes, you will have to email something or mail something to them but the cost of obtaining good names of buyers of similar products and services to yours trumps the cost of your mailing.
4) Negotiate, Negotiate, and Negotiate. Now that the Olympics, elections, andÂ holidaysÂ are over, media outlets are fighting over shrinkingÂ advertisingÂ budgets. Get your media agency to make killer opportunities happen and be READY to strike when the iron is hot (and the prices are at their lowest)!
5) Build your brand â€“ both corporate and personal via social networking. Time to actually create that corporate and/or personal blog. And update it regularly (at least once per week). If you are not on LinkedIn â€“ do it now! You should also be considering a Twitter feed in order to put aÂ personÂ behind your thoughts andÂ insights.
6) Try things you have not tried before. If you have never run a TV or radio spot consider calling yourÂ localÂ cable TV operator and having them help you develop an ad for your product or service. They will be VERY eager to help since theirÂ numbersÂ are down as well, and you will likely be surprised at the cost to test. Make sure you can track responses by driving prospects to a specificÂ landing pageÂ orÂ phone number.
7) Get out there to say and write something! Become quotable â€“ comment onÂ blog postsÂ and articles â€“ be provocative but genuine. Speak out at conferences or forums. This helps build your companyâ€™s brand and reputation as well as your own.
8) Stick to your principles. If your client is heading down aÂ roadÂ that you know is wrong donâ€™t stand by and let them do it. Disagree and stand firm. Itâ€™s too easy to be nervous and roll over simply because you are concerned about losing their business. But thatâ€™s no way to serve your customers or yourself. By being true to your marketing ideals you achieve both personal and professional integrity.
If weâ€™re lucky, weâ€™re now in the middle rounds of a 12 roundÂ economicchampionship bout. The trick is to keep on fighting so that you can come out for the 12th round. Then you at least have a chance of winning the fight.