Ways not to spend the budget

18 11 2008

Well it’s easy not to spend any budget, but if you add to the challenge ways to gain marketing results without (or at least reducing) the budget then it gets interesting.

 

From experience I firmly believe and know that it is possible to gain marketing results whilst being exceptionally prudent with the marketing spend. In the current economic climate marketers should be scratching their heads not only to find ways to deliver results but to do so in the most frugal fashion possible.

 

To do this does mean thinking laterally and being a little tenacious in order to identify cost effective ways to market your business. For example, previously I managed to generate £150,000 of press coverage in 8 months at no cost to the business. How did I achieve this, well at the time I was marketing manager for a supermarket chain and had sole responsibility for one of its flagship stores, so by contacting suppliers directly I was able to leaver products that could be used as prizes.

 

Now rather than just run these as in-store competitions I offered the prizes to the local newspaper as reader competitions. The result meant that my store was acknowledged with each competition, our logo used and follow-up photographs of the winners were taken in my store and published in the paper.

 

This strategy benefited the store in a number of ways:

·        The store gained extra free publicity

·        The competitions gave an added dimension to the retail experience

·        The winners were always presented with their prize at the store, helping to create a talking point for customers

·        Being seen to be giving things away enhanced the store’s reputation and made it be seen as being more friendly

·        Goodwill was generated between the store, the local media and customers

 

So, other than my time, which was already salaried for, the cost of achieving this was £0.

 

This is just one example of how you can achieve off-line marketing results without immediately resorting to getting the chequebook out.

 

Of course effective on-line marketing activities offer a raft of highly cost effective ways for businesses to win new sales and need to be given full consideration.

 

Finally, I would encourage any business large or small to challenge itself to find low or no cost ways to achieve its marketing goals. At the very least this will be a useful thinking exercise, but hopefully will result in identifying some useful cost effective ways to market your business.

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