MKTX | 5 Ways to Stretch Your Marketing Budget
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5 Ways to Stretch Your Marketing Budget

1 . Take time to aim
Before you start developing a marketing communications vehicle, be it an advertisement, an eBlast, or a direct mail piece, list the audiences who affect your success and prioritize them. Where are your easiest sales made? Which customers almost instinctively understand the value of your product or service? Create a message that addresses their chief desire and choose the media they frequent. ,The better your aim in targeting your communications, the more efficient you will be in deploying your budget.. When we develop a marketing plan for a client, we always start with an audience analysis that profiles a client’s customers and the key people that can influence their purchase decisions.

2. Go direct if possible
A clear picture of whom you want to reach with your marketing message means more efficient spending because you can safely eliminate lesser prospects and non-prospects. We typically recommend direct marketing tactics, print and online, especially when a client has a list with named prospects. And saving money doesn’t necessarily mean choosing an inexpensive offer or an inexpensive mailing package. The lowest cost per qualified lead may actually result from sending something relatively expensive and memorable. For one client, we designed an offer that incorporated woodworking tools that were engraved with the prospect’s initials. The campaign wasn’t cheap, but in this case we produced a 50% response rate for the client from a well researched and select list.

3. Make your value palpable
When you sit down to develop your marketing message, think hard about how to communicate your value in the clearest, simplest ways to your audience. We put a lot of effort into developing testimonials and case studies for high ticket or complex products, because expressing the key reasons why a past customer has bought can go a long way towards providing the rationale for why the next customer should buy. And pictures of products successfully in use by customers can be worth more than words with some prospects.

4. Repurpose your content
Customer case studies or simplifying illustrations that work in one medium, say a magazine article, can easily be repurposed for use in a sales sheet, an advertisement, in a direct mail communication or on a website. The length of copy, the format or the tone of the message may need to change, but the basic message can be the same. On-hold messages are a good way to boil a message to its essentials. Write a 30-second version, then a 15-second on the same product, then a 5. In addition to making your money go farther, communicating a consistent message can help your prospects form a clear idea of the benefits you offer.

5. Measure and tweak your programs for maximum effectiveness
When we propose a direct marketing program that incorporates an offer or a “lumpy” mailing that includes a free object, we often suggest that the response rates for different offers be tested. The idea is to send multiple mailings to different subsets of the master list, with different calls to action, and then compare the results. When we find that one offer produces more results than the others, we put more resources behind making that offer to the rest of the list. The same can apply to online advertising: measure the website activity that is generated by a particular ad or e-blast headline versus another to a portion of the list, then resend them with the more effective content. If the results hold up, broaden the list, putting more money behind the more successful ad.

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Bob Patterson
bobp@mktx.com

Leader of MKTX since its founding in 1998, Bob Patterson has over 30 years of experience in high-tech marketing. Bob received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School. He began his career at Intel Corporation where, during his 11 year tenure, he was part of the team of people instrumental in laying the foundations for Intel's success in the microprocessor market. Bob left Intel in 1987 and co-founded RadiSys Corporation, an Intel spin-off dedicated to exploiting the "Wintel" hardware/software standardization phenomenon in markets outside of desktop computing. As RadiSys' first VP of marketing and sales, Bob developed and executed the company's initial marketing plans and set up RadiSys' early sales channels. When Bob needs a break from cranking out strategies and content for our clients, he takes to the skies of the Northwest in his Cessna or his RV-12.