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Marketing Tactics

Stretch your Marketing Budget

Eight useful strategies to help you maximise your campaigns and save money.

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With tightened marketing budgets a reality, business owners need to make every rand count. Here are eight ways to get big results from a smaller budget.

1. First, use your ads for more than just space advertising

Ads are expensive to produce and expensive to run. But there are ways to get your advertising message in your prospect’s hands at a fraction of the cost of space advertising.

The least expensive is to order an ample supply of reprints and distribute them to customers and prospects every chance you get. When you send literature in response to an inquiry, include a copy of the ad in the package. This reminds a prospect of the reason he responded in the first place and reinforces the original message.

Turn the ad into a product data sheet by adding technical specifications and additional product information to the back of the ad reprint. This eliminates the expense of creating a new layout from scratch. And it makes good advertising sense, because the reader gets double exposure to your advertising message.

Ad reprints can be used as inexpensive direct mail pieces. You can mail the reprints along with a reply card and a sales letter.

If your ads provide valuable information of a general nature, you can offer reprints as free educational material to companies in your industry. Or, if the ad presents a striking visual, you can offer reprints suitable for framing. Use your ads again and again. You will save money — and increase frequency — in the process.

2. If something works, stick with it

Too many marketers scrap their old promotions and create new ones because they’re bored with their current campaign. That’s a waste. You shouldn’t create new ads or promotions if your existing ones are still accurate and effective. You should run your ads for as long as your customers read and react to them.

If a concept still has selling power but the promotion contains dated information, update the existing copy — don’t throw it out and start from scratch. This approach isn’t fun for the ad manager or the agency, but it does save money.

3. Use ‘modular’ product literature

One common advertising problem is how to promote a single product to many small, diverse markets. Each market has different needs and will buy the product for different reasons. But on your budget, you can’t afford to create a separate brochure for each of these tiny market segments.

The solution is modular literature. This means creating a basic brochure layout that has sections capable of being tailored to meet specific market needs. After all, most sections of the brochure — technical specifications, service, company background, product operation, product features — will be the same regardless of the audience. Only a few sections, such as benefits of the product to the user and typical applications, need to be tailored to specific readers.

4. Use article reprints as supplementary sales literature

Marketing managers are constantly bombarded by requests for ‘incidental’ pieces of product literature. Engineers want data sheets explaining some minor technical feature in great detail. Reps selling to small, specialised markets want special literature geared to their particular audience. And each company salesperson wants support literature that fits his or her individual sales pitch. But the ad budget can only handle the major pieces of product literature. Not enough time or money exists to satisfy everybody’s requests for custom literature.

The solution is to use article reprints as supplementary sales literature. Have your sales and technical staff write articles on these special topics. Then, place the articles with the appropriate journals. Article reprints can be used as inexpensive literature and carry more credibility than self-produced promotional pieces. You don’t pay for layout or printing of the article. Best of all, the article is free advertising for your firm.

5. Explore inexpensive alternatives for lead generation, such as banner advertising, organic search and PR

Many smaller firms judge marketing effectiveness solely by the number of leads generated. New-product press releases lead the list as the most economical method of generating leads.

Post all your press releases in a media or press section of your website. Optimise them with key word phrases to draw more organic search traffic.

6. Do not overpay for outside creative talent

Hire freelancers and consultants whose credentials — and fees — fit the job and the budget.

7. Get maximum mileage out of existing content

Photos, illustrations, layouts and even copy created for one promotion can often be lifted and reused in other pieces to significantly reduce creative costs. For example, copy created for a corporate image ad can be used as the introduction to the annual report.

8. Pay your vendors on time

Why? You’ll save money by taking advantage of discounts and avoiding late charges when you pay vendor invoices on time. And, you’ll gain goodwill that can result in better service and fairer prices on future projects.

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Marketing Tactics

Ask These 3 Questions To Determine Where To Spend Your Marketing Budget

Stretching your marketing budget is imperative, especially when there aren’t that many marketing rands to stretch.

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As you grow your business, it’s important to be creative and efficient with your money. When it comes to marketing, there are a number of cost-effective ways to spend and save your money. So, if you’re worried about marketing on a limited budget, here’s some helpful info to know.

First, great marketing is about highlighting wants and needs and attaching them to desired outcomes. It’s possible to do that regardless of budget — and every company’s strategy will be different.

For example, when my consultancy worked with Dollar Shave Club to grow its platform beyond viral videos, we focused on establishing a unique voice, which led to creating an editorial component. When we worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger on his fitness and nutrition products, we focused on creating a core mission and understanding why he was involved in the product. And when we worked with Four Sigmatic to market its coffees and teas, we focused on customer acquisition and retention.

Related: 5 Ways To Market Your Business On A Limited Budget

3 Questions that Cut Through the Clutter

Those projects all started with the same three questions: What is the value and purpose of your product or service? Who is your target audience? And what is the best platform on which to reach them? That’s where you’ll want to invest most of your attention before you determine where to spend your money. (Notice my word choice: Your planning is an investment; where you spend is a cost.)

1. In general, we prefer to use digital campaigns

It’s easier to track what works and what doesn’t. Plus, digital creates multiple opportunities to engage. Think of it this way: 10% of your audience will buy, 10% won’t and 80% will be on the fence. Would you rather have one shot to convince that 80%, or multiple? By retargeting through something like Facebook ads or Google, or even creating a distribution channel like an email list, you can communicate repeatedly.

2. If you don’t have an audience, spend money fishing in small ponds where you know you can get a bite, and then set yourself up to communicate repeatedly

(This is where creating content as a form of acquisition or building an email list can be incredibly valuable.) Depending on your product or service, this could mean a very targeted ad to a small audience on Facebook — rather than attempting to reach millions — or setting up a pop-up shop, or getting a spot at a local farmers’ market.

Related: 4 Unique Marketing Ideas For SMEs On A Budget

3. If you already have an audience, turn them into super-fans who will bring their peers into your universe

Identify previous buyers and give them direct access to you through focus groups or calls. Reward them for their time with product or a gift certificate. When you show your consumer that you care about and appreciate them, it not only increases the likelihood of repurchase but also helps them personally invest in the soul of the business. Not to mention, their insights will help you understand why they bought and how to replicate that process.

Whatever you do — and no matter how big or small your budget — keep finding better answers to the core marketing questions and your success won’t hinge on any one platform.

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Marketing Tactics

Gen Z Is Coming! Are You Ready?

How do you market your company to this generation?

Stuart Scanlon

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According to the CNBC, about 61 000 Gen Zers are on the verge of entering the workforce and consumer market in the US alone.

They are digital natives; they have grown up in a world of vines, txts (yes, we know) and internet. Their attention span is shorter than ever, they are more connected than any other generation, and they are brilliant multitaskers. Gen Z is a more tolerant generation but also more cautious; studies have found less risk-taking amongst this group and an increase in thoughtfulness and questioning authority.

So, on the one side of this coin, how do you market your company to this generation?

1. By being transparent

Be upfront about your business, what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. They have lost faith in corporations. Thus, you must stop relying on and hiding behind small print. Yes, you need terms and conditions to protect your company, but when it looks like a miracle weight-loss advert of the 80s (“Eat anything you want just take this pill. Ts&Cs apply.”), you’ll lose customers.

Related: Investing in Young Entrepreneurs

Gen Z consumers want to see you are real; they don’t want models or celebrities but regular people who can assist them in a manner that speaks to them. And they will hold your business is socially accountable. Instead of producing millions of T-shirts at the cheapest possible price, they want local, equality and free-trade, and they want to know what businesses are doing for the environment and society.

Gen Z won’t accept your claims at your word; they want to see evidence in your company culture.

2. By offering options

A jewellery purchasing study has found that most Gen Zers don’t have a preferred shopping platform. What this means is your messaging, availability and culture need to be spread evenly across all contact points – sales, call centres, website and digital advertising. In fact, many Gen Z consumers rely on mixing their contact points.

That being said, they want immediate action. If they see something they want online, they will go to the shop just to have the item right now. More than immediacy, they also want custom-made or made-to-order products and services. They shy away from traditional made-to-stock methods, which creates plenty of room in the production industry.

3. By being forward thinking

We have to always remember what was mind-blowing inventions to other generations are the norm for Gen Zers. They hold brands and businesses to high expectations, and instead of being loyal to brands, expect brands to be loyal to them. As Gen Z is more focused on individuality, they are also proving to be a generation with a high entrepreneurial output. All this shows that they don’t want the norm; they don’t crave what’s new today, they want tomorrow, sustainability and innovation, and they want it now.

On the other side of the coin, how do you attract this generation to work at your company? In much the same way.

1. By being transparent

As much as you are hiring them based on what they bring to the table, so too are they looking at what you can afford them. But, they don’t just want to hear you tell them about the benefits, they want to see it – and they are not after just money. Gen Zers want to be financially secure, but also one that is fulfilling; one where they find purpose in their jobs and company.

2. By offering options

Gen Z employees don’t want to work eight to five, they don’t want to be chained to a desk, and they don’t want to be micro-managed. Give them flexibility on how they want to conduct their work and how they can communicate with their colleagues. Create an understanding workspace for their needs and help them improve their skills – for instance, it’s been reported that a stumbling block for Gen Zers is communication. Growing up with emojis and text messages make face-to-face conversations, business calls and writing emails difficult for them.

Gen Z employees want to work hard and grow their skills. Even though they’re growing up in a super-paced society, they want to climb the corporate ranks at the given speed. What they crave, with urgency, is gaining value from their jobs.

Related: The Z Generation

3. By being forward thinking

They are lateral thinkers, and their creativity is not just outside the box but has broken the box completely. Gen Z is incredibly tech-savvy, and they will challenge the systems and procedures you have in place if these are not providing the needed speed and data required. Thus, they crave to work in an environment where they can push boundaries and ultimately help the company move forward. Hiring from the Gen Z pool can provide you with innovative insights into your business that can grow it towards tomorrow’s giants.

The only way to be sure you are future-proofing your business is by guaranteeing it caters for future customers and employees, by relying on forward-thinking enterprise resource planning software, for instance. Epicor ERP software ensures that their clients stay agile and innovative through trusting top minds to build and develop intelligent systems that open doors for Gen Zers. It’s Epicor’s innate tech-savviness that allows them to visualise the landscape of tomorrow and develop the software to support it today.

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Marketing Tactics

Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

You don’t need an MBA to write a marketing plan for your business. While no two businesses are alike, all solid marketing plans need to provide specific information. Use this sample marketing plan template to get you started on the right foot and cover all the essential information.

Tracy Lee Nicol

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Your marketing plan should provide a comprehensive blueprint of the business, its market and associated market activity, its position in the market, target and expected customers, offerings, competition, solutions and contingency plans.

Using a sample Marketing Plan Template can save you a lot of time in creating your own marketing plan.

Download a Sample Marketing Plan Template

Use the free templates below to help make sure you’ve covered all the important bits:

Download Our Free Marketing Plan Template Here.

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Recommended Marketing Reads: 


Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

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