There’s no denying that marketing is a considerable expense, but we put up with it because our businesses wouldn’t grow without it. Business owners with an eye towards growth and expansion have to invest in marketing. Word of mouth may work in small towns, but you can’t expect to reach new audiences without a proper marketing campaign. It’s the only way to generate momentum and attract new customers in a short span of time.
Of course, this puts small businesses at a disadvantage. Many small-business owners have had to make sacrifices to keep their businesses afloat, and market recovery has been slow. How are they expected to invest in marketing on a bare-bones budget? When forced to decide between paying the bills or marketing, I’m sure you’d rather keep the lights on than pay for a campaign that may not work.
That said, there ways to maximize your limited budget. A creative agency can craft a campaign that won’t break the bank. Here a few strategies that will help you expand your company’s reach.
- Identify your buyer
One of the most common mistakes that business owners make is thinking that they don’t need to narrow their focus. Supermarkets and pharmacies can afford to appeal to a general audience, but you can’t. If you want to make the most of your marketing budget, you need to identify your ideal buyer and target that niche.
A company’s success is dependent on its relationship with its target audience. Let’s say you sell high-quality baby clothes. You’ll want to target affluent mothers willing to spend for their children. But you can’t just put out an ad and expect them to come to you. You also need to understand their problems and find a way to appeal to them. Knowing what makes your target buyer tick will help you create a marketing strategy that they will find compelling.
- Highlight your strengths
In a market full of identical businesses, the one that takes advantage of their unique strengths is more likely to succeed. Competition drives us to make risky decisions to grow. You need to set yourself apart from the competition if you want to stand out in a crowded market. Otherwise, buyers won’t have a reason to patronize your business.
Your marketing campaign should highlight your company’s strengths and differentiators. You may not have the best products, but you need to let your target market know if you can compete on price. It’s important to solidify your value proposition early on to capture the market.
- Focus on one thing at a time
In the olden days, your marketing options were largely limited to television, radio, and print. Today, however, there are many avenues you can pursue, each one different from the last. It’s easy to think that you need to do everything to succeed in today’s market. After all, you want to cover all your bases, and you don’t want to miss out. However, a marketing campaign that tries to do many things is bound to fail.
To maximize your limited budget, you need to stick to one method and objective. Think about what you want to achieve, and craft a strategy that revolves around that key area. You can make more progress if you focus all your resources on a single goal.
- Think short-term
Long-term campaigns are more cost-efficient, but you don’t have the resources to sustain a campaign that won’t see immediate returns. To get the most bang for your buck, you need to focus on short-term strategies that will get you a return on your investment sooner. Small wins today can snowball into larger wins down the line.
For instance, if you need to increase sales now, then that’s where you need to focus your energies and resources. Long-term growth strategies such as search engine optimization may look good on paper, but it will be months before you can enjoy the benefits. Ask your marketing partner about strategies you can implement right away.
Once you have identified a short-term strategy that works for your business, make it the centerpiece of your current campaign and repeat it until you can move on to more sustainable models.
- Nurture your existing customers
Acquiring new customers can be an expensive endeavor. You might see better results if you use your limited resources to nurture your existing customers. For instance, investing in customer satisfaction programs incentivizes your customers to do business with you again.
A final word
These five tips will help you craft a marketing strategy that makes better use of your resources. You have a long road ahead to build your company profile, but small steps today can go a long way in ensuring long-term growth.