Stretch your marketing dollars

DollarDo you have $1000 or $1,000,000 to spend on your marketing initiatives this year? No matter what your actual budget is, I am sure you are looking for ways to stretch your marketing dollars. Here are some easy money- and time-saving tricks that we live by at The Simons Group. Feel free to use them to keep your marketing initiatives on track and on (or maybe even under!) budget:

Keep your current customers happy
It is a commonly accepted rule that it costs less to keep your old clients happy than to keep acquiring new ones. Of course, even if you have stellar customer service, you will still lose customers. So if your focus is growth, your efforts should be divided between keeping your current customers happy and new client acquisition. You want to keep the hole in your bucket small to avoid as much leaking as possible.

Be proactive, not reactive
I am sure that most of you are already planning for your futures. You know that proactive planning for your retirement is essential if you want to maximize your enjoyment of your golden years. Unfortunately, many companies do not have this forward-thinking attitude when it comes to planning for their businesses futures. What you put in (or don’t put in) now will help determine where you are in the future. Take the time to examine your business goals and plan out your marketing initiatives by creating a flexible yearly plan. If this planning seems daunting, you can always rely on outside marketing professionals for guidance.

Bundle, bundle, bundle
So you have your marketing plan in place, and it is now time to start executing. Speak with your marketing firm to see what cost savings can be realized by bundling projects. Let’s say you need to have a series of sell sheets created for different product lines. You want each sell sheet to be unique, but they still need to look like they are part of the same family. Think about keeping the same design for each sell sheet and using imagery or colors to differentiate each product.

Get it in writing
If you have a budget that you must stick to, it is a good idea to get a detailed proposal for any hourly, project or retainer creative work in writing before starting. Read over the proposal and ask for items to be added that you want covered in the proposal before you approve it. Any reputable firm will be more than happy to do this for you, and it will help eliminate surprises down the road.

Keep track of your revisions
If you have a project proposal in place with your marketing firm, it will most likely include a number of revisions for each creative service (writing, designing, coding, etc.). To help you stay on track with your revisions, I offer you the following tips:

• Put a limit on the amount of internal people who must review.
• Review, step back and review again.
• Submit changes in bulk so you can make your revisions go farther.
• Make sure that you are kept in the loop on what revision you are on.
• Find out how much an additional revision will cost if you still need more.

With a bit of planning, you can get a lot more than you may be used to for your marketing dollars. If you have any other money-saving suggestions, feel free to post a comment below. I am sure your fellow marketers will appreciate your wisdom.

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