Marketing On a Limited Budget
August 23, 2021
Some might say that marketing is easy, especially if there is an unlimited budget. Money can be spent on numerous components aimed at a very broad target audience. Some aspects of the campaign might work effectively while other aspects of the campaign might be a complete waste. When a business has a limited budget, however, care must be taken to make the most of every dollar spent.
Marketing should always be viewed as an essential operational investment in the business. When marketing is adequately funded and effective, it creates a positive return on investment (ROI) that increases net income. If not, then money spent on marketing becomes an expense item that reduces net income. This should never happen if marketing is handled correctly. When marketing is successful, it encourages loyalty and buying from current customers, attracts new customers, impacts purchasing behavior, and builds lasting relationships.
Knowing Answers to the Right Questions
A marketing campaign can be developed once the business truly understands the value and purpose of its products or services (its unique value proposition), the target audience, and best platform and components to reach the target audience.
Effective marketing is when a business knows its primary target market and understands the wants and needs of that market. It can then develop a marketing strategy that will accomplish positive outcomes because of this knowledge. Once the target market has been established, then the business can decide what type of marketing or marketing components are best utilized for the particular audience and the message it is trying to achieve.
Targeting a vast audience is not maximizing money spent. The target audience must be clearly understood and well-defined. When this aspect of marketing is understood, then the business takes control of its marketing function. If a business does not fully understand its target market, then money can be spent in small amounts to judge both the target itself and the effectiveness of marketing directed to this audience. A campaign can then be tweaked to achieve greater results. When the audience is clearly identified and marketing components are known that work the best, then nominal, one-time customers can be transformed into larger paying, loyal customers by targeting the specific audience with effective messages and rewarding them for loyalty.
Marketing is a work-in-progress. It is never really finished or complete because as the business and environment change, marketing must also change based on the industry, business size, life cycle stage, competition, and what the market is demanding. A business should continuously be monitoring every marketing campaign to determine which marketing component or components produce the most positive results regarding items such as revenue (total or by product or service line), customer requests, support calls, website visitors, etc.
It can be said that any business can market and any business can sell to a certain extent. The advantage, however, goes to the business that actually understands it target market and why those customers purchase. Businesses must remember that when there is no effective marketing, there will either be decreased business or no business at all sometime in the future.
Strive to Build Value
One very important factor in marketing even on a limited budget is to build value into products or services sold. A business should never allow a customer to mentally undervalue what it is selling. Through marketing and other operational and selling factors, businesses want customers to feel that they are always receiving a higher value for a product or service than what they are actually paying for. This value building philosophy helps to build customer retention and loyalty.
Put It All Together
When small businesses and SMEs have limited budgets for marketing, this does not mean that there cannot be meaningful and effective marketing. Money spent on marketing must be thoroughly analyzed zeroing in on a specific target market and utilizing marketing components that will yield the highest maximum return.