We know marketing expenses are usually the first things on the chopping block when budget cuts need to be made. And while we don’t like it or support it, from a business standpoint, we certainly understand it.
So what’s a company to do when cuts have to be made? The first step is usually trimming back, rather than cutting something completely. When deeper cuts need to be made and you’re looking down the list, there are five things that we firmly believe are untouchable – consider them protected species.
1. Business cards – hands-down, this is the cheapest ad on earth. It’s pocket-size and even though digital is the new black, you aren’t really a business without one.
2. Email marketing – it’s not exactly free, but compared to other mediums, it is a very small cost for a big and targeted reach to keep your name out there or to spread the word about a special offer.
3. Website improvements – your web site is your virtual business. More people will probably see you there than will ever come to your office in a given day, week or year. No matter how small your budget, you need to keep your web site current and make sure it is responsive so people can view it on their smartphones and tablets.
4. PR efforts – generating publicity takes more time than an ad but it also has more credibility. As they say, “news travels fast” – so keep your name out there. Oh yeah, social media falls in this bucket too, because your followers need to know you are still alive (plus they can share with their friends and family).
5. An eye-catching ad – depending on the nature of your business this could be print, online ad or 30-60 second video…but you should have a good ad developed and ready so you can take advantage of great deals or opportunities when they arise. Ads developed in a rush often fall short, so plan ahead and do it right.
So sharpen your pencil. Find less expensive options for other items. Cut back on coffee stirrers, barter or beg if you have to – but these five things are not an option when it comes to paring down your marketing budget.