In a recession or recovering economy some companies are tempted to cut corners in Marketing to help with balancing budgets or “tightening” the proverbial belt. Here we’ll take a look at 3 things you need to spend some time and money on for profitable results, and a few things it’s ok to “downsize” to save some extra cash.
The Must Haves: Pay a Little Now, Save a Lot Later
A Quality Company “Look.” From logo and font selection to appropriate color choices – a quality professional’s help here can save you from costly problems later. A trusted professional will guide you in making decisions appropriate for your target market and will provide you with the types of files and information you will need to properly utilize your logo, look and colors.
Skimping here can cost you in two big ways. The first thing it can cost you is the appeal and iconic recognition you need with your audience to convert sales. The second hit can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars when ineffective or poor quality items must be redesigned, replaced and/or reprinted.
A Great Message. If your customers don’t remember it, was it worth it? You’ve heard the stories… the video that went viral. The unknown who was suddenly platinum. The shoes that sold 11 million dollars in a year. It takes being noteworthy and “share-worthy.” And sometimes, it’s just this… delivering the right message at the right time. Working with a professional helps you to test and develop the right message for your product or service and allows for greater results and longer-running campaign success.
Skimping here can cost you lost revenue in wasted advertising, lost sales, and costly development of damage-control campaigns or rebranding.
An Optimized and Targeted Website. It’s no accident that some sites are visited often and have return traffic and sales while others simply “sit there looking pretty.” Multiple variables are at play, but a few big factors include page layout, content relevance, call to action strategies and engagement. These factors must be part of the planning and development of a site geared for results. A quality professional’s help will ensure that your site is planned, created, optimized and marketed to meet your goals.
Skimping here can cost you and you’ll never realize how much. You won’t necessarily know how many of your “visitors” check you out and buy somewhere else. You can also spend a lot of money in advertising campaigns driving traffic to a site that just makes your prospects leave.
The Maybes: Save a Little (or a Lot) Now
The High-Priced Phonebook Ad. If you offer a service you should definitely be in the book. But more and more companies are abandoning the large, expensive ads in favor of smaller ads or basic listings. Why? Because more people search for local services online than pick up a phone book. It used to be that a service company’s main source of new customers was the phone book. Not so any more. Now the question is, “What online directories are you listed in?” “Are you on the first page of Google SERPs or Google Places?” You’d be better off investing in your web presence than your “shelf” presence.
Stamps/Postage. Yes, I’m saying it again… GREEN and DIGITAL. Not only will you save 28-47 cents per piece, you will have a greater return on your investment and higher conversion rates. Relationship-based email campaigns (newsletters, helpful tips, and more) and social media marketing are where customers are making decisions and purchases. If you’re not yet convinced by the over half a billion users at Facebook and the many others on Twitter, YouTube, and other social sites… perhaps this will nudge you in the direction of the dollars… GO DIGITAL.
For about $15/month, you can have a CanSPAM compliant email campaign that is coordinated with your other marketing efforts that will GET to the inbox and GET you sales. Most social marketing tools are free and can be easily connected to work together.Not only will you save money now, you’ll make money later.
Traditional Printed Letterhead. Many smaller companies and those with a firm eye toward “Greening” their operations, are opting to go digital with much of their standard communication and reduce their printing volume. Instead of buying printed letterhead sheets and envelopes, try working with a digital letterhead and a PDF maker to create digital copies of your documents you can email to recipients.
Remember email is not secure, so print or fax documents that contain identity or other sensitive information. Go ahead, save a few trees and save some money at the same time.
Times might be tight, but the best solution is to put your marketing dollars where they will have the greatest and most lasting impact. (For about the cost of a billboard or phone book ad, you can have a professional website that will be seen more and will garner more sales which will work for you 24-7-365 as long as you keep it hosted online.)
“Downsize” some items, but keep the “must haves” in professional working order!
Reposted with Permission from By His Design, LLC