Small business owners know they’ve got to keep an eye on their bottom line. At the same time, the only way to generate leads and grow your business is to promote it. Cue your marketing budget.
Depending on the size of your business, you may have a single marketing person, a small marketing team, or you may use outside consultants. No matter who handles your marketing, you need to maximize the bang for your marketing buck.
Most newer companies spend between 12-20% of their gross revenue on marketing. Established companies may get by with spending 6-12%, but it’s still a hefty portion. As the saying goes, “you’ve got to spend money to make money”—and this adage is certainly true for small businesses that need to stand out in competitive markets.
So, how do you maximize your marketing budget?
How do you turn shoestring marketing into a pair of cross-trainers to race ahead of the competition?
1. Reward Referrals
Word-of-mouth and reputation are always vital to your success, but especially when you’re running on a tight budget. One of your best bets is to tap into the power of customer referrals. Customers are 4 times more likely to purchase when they’re referred by a friend. Referrals also experience an 18% lower churn and give 16% higher profits. So, rewarding customers for referrals and starting RAF (Refer a Friend) programs are smart strategies to maximize your marketing dollars.
2. Don’t Keep Up with the Joneses: Keep it Simple
Many small businesses mistakenly look at their larger peers and exhaust themselves trying to keep up. If they’ve got flashy bell and whistles, it’s tempting to aim to one-up your neighbor. If you’re on a limited budget, however, keep your eyes on your own paper and focus on what you do best. Rather than attempting to say too much (and ultimately falling flat), keep your message simple and concise. Focus on one call to action. Keep your brand identity clear and uncomplicated. Don’t try to become everything to everyone. You just need to do you.
3. Use Variable Data Printing to Maximize Your Marketing Budget
We all know personalization is important when it comes to getting your message to click with customers. But aren’t personalized campaigns expensive and hard to execute? Not with variable data printing! Use the same beautiful piece of material over and over with simple personalized printing customization. An evergreen piece can serve as the base for your campaign and variable data printing will keep it fresh and personal! Talk about an easy way to maximize your marketing budget!
4. Customize Your Message
Customers want and even expect personalized marketing. It’s estimated 51% of consumers expect (by 2020) companies will anticipate their needs and offer relevant suggestions before they even initiate contact. By wisely using data such as past purchase history, demographics, and areas of interest, you can easily customize and tailor your message to resonate with specific targets. If you know what your customers like, give them more of the good stuff.
Your marketing budget doesn’t need to be huge to have an outsized impact. Focus on pleasing your existing customers, encourage referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. Tailor your message to your target audience and use variable data printing to stretch your marketing campaigns. Focus on what you do best, rather than keeping up with other businesses. Stretch even a small marketing budget with these smart strategies.