5 Practical Ways SMEs Can Stretch Their Marketing Budget
Many SMEs are always on a lookout for advice/solutions that are able to stretch their resources. In this article, we look at five practical tips on how your company can stretch your marketing budget and at the same time arrive at more effective results.
1. Start with a plan
Failure to plan will always result in wastage of time and resources. In your marketing plan, identifying the right strategy would set the company on course to bring about some good results. Start off with the usual practice of listing down the 5Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People) and proceed to identify your market segment, target audience and positioning of your products/services.
Having an over-arching plan and strategy will help to conceptualise and guide the overall direction for your marketing efforts and eventually coming up with a campaign outline.
2) Create campaigns that target niche audience
According to a survey conducted by Nielsen Online Campaign Rating (OCR), narrower-targeted ad campaigns have the tendency to perform better.
Campaigns that are specifically targeted at a niche audience (e.g. age group, gender, occupation, demographics, interest group) have a higher rate of effectiveness. By crafting targeted messages and promotions to reach an audience who is already keen to purchase your product/services, you will end up spending less effort and marketing dollars trying to convince and convert them.
3) Focus and channel your resources
Be clear about the needs of your target audience by doing research to find out about their buying behaviour, timing of purchase and preferences. Having insights to such information will help you to decide which are the channels (i.e. print, digital, social media, outdoor) that would reach them most effectively.
If you are working with a limited marketing budget, you may wish to focus on just one channel instead of spreading your resources too thin. Depending on the level of competition, you would need to invest a critical amount of budget in a particular channel to have some results.
4) Start small
Do not pump in huge amounts into a channel or campaign unless good results are starting to show or some ROI has already been established in your previous campaigns.
For example, for Facebook Marketing, business owners could start to pump in a small amount of marketing budget to test the responses from the target audience by monitoring the reach, reactions, leads, conversion and sales.
5) Consider the option of outsourcing
Business owners often do not factor in the amount of time and effort that is required to plan and execute marketing campaigns. They also do not take into account the opportunity cost that is incurred when they choose the DIY option (since the time spent on marketing could be better invested into other aspects such as business development, operations, etc.).