You want to be involved in more trade shows, especially after investing in your own display graphics designed by Blazer Exhibits. However, your marketing budget doesn’t seem to allow for it. What’s a marketing manager to do? While a sizable infusion of funds would be perfect, you know it just isn’t going to happen.
There are ways to maximize your shrinking marketing budget, making it work for your company. You just need to be willing to step outside of the box, bringing creativity to your marketing efforts in order to increase profits that will in turn go right back to marketing. The best part: it’s easier than you think! Here is a list of things you can do to make your marketing efforts work for your company, no matter what the size of your budget is.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
This is a big one. Many people believe that you need to come out with fresh marketing campaigns to keep people interested. Some switch it up quarterly, some even go as far as to shift gears monthly. If you’re facing a tight budget, you’re lucky to be able to change things up twice per year! Here’s the thing you need to know – if your current marketing campaign is achieving results, it’s perfectly okay to keep running with it. Why change a good thing?
It’s All About Versatility
When you don’t have as much money as you’d like, it becomes important to create ads that can be used in a variety of different ways. While some ads are often tailored to things like seasons, promotions, and events, it’s important to make ads that can be used in a variety of different places and at any time of year. While it’s good to create more specialized ads as well, having these generic ads will make it easier to build brand awareness among a wider selection of outlets. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be creating more specialized materials regarding specific products or services. You should still do this, but don’t waste too much time and money. Instead, put more effort into the materials that can be used for a wider audience.
Stick With What You Have
Why hire a fancy marketing team to do all of the work on the campaign? Chances are there are a number of employees currently working for you that can help out with a specific task. If you find that there is a need to hire someone new, take the time to find the right person. All too often, businesses mistakenly choose a big name firm from which to find talent.
Social media brings a unique opportunity for businesses, and their customers eat it right up. I’m talking about the latest trend on Facebook and Instagram: Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday. You can choose to post pictures of your business in the early days, or the very first ad your company ever released. What about old training videos? Really, the sky is the limit, and it allows you to reuse your old marketing materials to attract new customers.
A great way to bring your brand to the eyes of new customers is to find another company to partner with. Is there another company that offers a product that compliments one of your own? For example, let’s say you are in the craft industry. You manufacture paper, while another manufactures ink and rubber stamps. You join forces, offering a special promotion that allows people to get so many sheets of paper free with their qualifying ink and stamp purchase. To attract more customers, you can also run a social media giveaway, where people win a few items from each of your companies by liking your pages and commenting on an image. When you combine partnerships and social media, you start to see the positive effects in the form of followers. Increasing followers is akin to a flood of new eyes viewing your advertisement in a magazine or on your webpage.
Who says your ads are strictly ads? Turn them into much more – have salespeople hand them out to new customers, include them in folders with other material at your trade show booth, print more specific product information on the backside, turn them into direct mailing marketing materials, or whatever else you can think of. There’s no reason you need to spend a lot of money on something that’s only used in one way. Find new ways to put that expensive ad to good use, and expose more people to it at the same time.
If you take these steps towards making your marketing budget work for you, you’ll find that you can set up at more trade shows. It isn’t difficult to do it right – you just have to be smart and think outside the box!
What is your marketing budget like? Do you find you’re doing a lot less because of it?