Creating a market for budgeting is a strange and tricky thing; you want to get a good return on investment, of course, and your marketing campaigns can create lifelong relationships with new customers. When you’re a new or unknown business, your marketing is your make or break; you might have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it. The problem is that you might be missing a lot of the capital you need to run a large-scale advertising campaign; that capital will come with the customers, so it seems like a vicious loop. To break the cycle, here’s how to run a low-cost marketing campaign.
The first priority has got to be planning. You’ve probably already ascertained which markets are most open to your business, and which demographics are most likely to give you repeat business. Focusing on wide-scale acquisition shouldn’t be the focus of a preliminary marketing campaign; go with what you know. That might be direct mailing to residents of your neighborhood for a local restaurant, or a targeted online marketing campaign for your e-shop, but narrow it down to the segment where you expect the most ROI, and target, target, target.
Leverage existing infrastructure is a great way to lower the costs of your marketing campaign. Get people talking; you’d be surprised how much it helps to ask your customers to leave a review and tell their friends if they’ve had a great experience. You can also partner with other businesses with products that are tangential but not competing; a restaurant might partner with a local theatre for dinner and a movie, and a pool maker might partner with a pool cleaner. If you have a local business and you know business owners in the area, get them to start talking about your business; it’s all about leveraging relationships. If you’ve already had a successful marketing campaign, retool and refresh instead of doing a whole new campaign; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
It can be tempting to focus on distribution instead of quality content; advertising is often seen as a numbers game, where the more people who look at your ads the better. Realistically, if a thousand people see your ad with a 1% response rate, it’s the same as getting 100 people to see your ad with a 10% response rate. If the 100 people you sent the ad to are all within your target demographic, they’re more likely to actually purchase products; that’s why focusing on the quality of your ad is more important than the number of people it might reach.
When creating a budget for advertising, it’s important to find all the savings you can; an experienced accounting firm will be able to help you find tax incentives that will save you money during your marketing campaign.