When business is slow, it may be tempting to cut back on your marketing to save money. The catch is that the less you market today, the fewer customers you’ll have tomorrow. Here, then, are five secrets to getting more out of your marketing while spending less.
Secret #1 Cut Out The Excess
Does size really count? Not in this case! Smaller can actually be more effective in the long run.
Yes, you can actually cut down the size of your ad and run it more often to receive better results in most cases. The size of your ad does not produce the consumer confidence that consistency does! This first secret alone will save you tons of lost marketing dollars.
By running smaller, less expensive, but routine advertising you can become more effective in the long run. One of the keys to advertising success is repetition. So a one time shot with a big ad will not oversell a smaller ad done consistently.
Secret #2 Market To Your Shameless Fans
It costs much less to market to your existing customers than constantly chasing new ones. Yes, you must seek out new customers but your existing customers are easier to reach and can build your profits faster.
Direct your marketing dollars primarily to existing customers and your shameless fans and stop constantly chasing new ones. Yes, you must get new customers and you should not avoid marketing to them. But, if you spend more of your marketing dollars and efforts on the fans who already love you – you will get a greater and faster return on your marketing investment.
Secret #3 Sprinkle Your Database With Bread Crumbs
It always amazes me when I ask my audience members how many of them send a direct mail piece to their existing customers a minimum of 6 times a year. Very few hands go up. And 6 is just a minimum, it should actually be 8 to 10 times a year to be really effective.
The number one reason why customers don’t return to do business with you is not because they don’t like you, it is because you let them forget about you. Another key to your marketing success is consistency!
You work too hard to get customers, so contact them often. Increase the frequency of mail to them. Call them more often. Use email to communicate to them. Implement a referral rewards program. Create offers that up sell or magnify your sale.
To do this you should be collecting the contact information (address, phone and email) of existing customers, prospective customers and even people in elevators. Elevators? Well after all you have a captive audience. Hey, don’t underestimate the power of elevator marketing. I was shamelessly marketing my books to the media at the big book expo in the press elevator. Well, I was thrown out of the pressroom and this shameless marketing guru does not give up easily. My elevator marketing was effective until I finally got a dizzy from going up and down.
Secret #4 Don’t believe What They Tell You
You would be surprised at how magazines and newspapers will cut the price of their rate cards if you ask. Business is difficult for many companies these days and some will do anything to save an existing customer or win over new prospective customers.
Look at advertiser’s rate cards as a guide line to negotiate your best price and seek out free media exposure. Don’t ever sign a contract without believing you have the best and most fair offer. Also seek out free publicity from them with a special feature story or article about your business. Make sure they include a photo of you or your company to make the publicity even more effective.
The free publicity, when done well, can get you 10 times more results than your paid advertising. It is not an ad, but a feature story about an expert – YOU.
Secret #5 Trade Products and/or Service
You can save a lot of marketing dollars by bartering with the media and other business alliances. Believe it or not, as much as 50 percent of media is not purchased, but obtained by barter. This is a great way to save marketing dollars and save on the retail cost of advertising.
Example: I bartered for a feature story in a national magazine by offering my services as a professional speaker. It was a win win for all. I suggested that they support the success of their advertisers by bringing me in to present a marketing seminar. This way they had contact with their existing customers and new prospective fans. My services were the tool to bring them together and build customer loyalty. I won by getting a nice feature store and all I had to offer in return was my time and expertise.
This was a great way for the magazine to relate to their existing and prospective customers without giving them a sales pitch. It was delivered through a third party and an expert who supported their publication. You are an expert too. How can you use this to your advantage, barter and save your marketing dollars?
Debbie Allen is an international professional speaker, business consultant and author of Confessions of Shameless series of books. As a marketing and retail business expert, Debbie has presented to thousands from around the world. For more information or to sign up for Debbie’s free newsletter, visit her web site at at www.DebbieAllen.com.