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Friday, March 27, 2009

Stretch That Budget

Friday, March 27, 2009

With marketing budgets under scrutiny, doing more with less is essential for creating a positive return on your investment. The fact is that marketing budgets are shrinking in today's difficult economic climate. This is the precise opposite of what should actually happen. When times are tough, its time to start marketing.

Do more with your shrinking marketing budget. This is easily done when you consider the power of viral marketing. The purpose of viral marketing is to leverage others - customers, prospects, friends, and connections to help you sell your products and services. Here are a few other ideas you can use to jump start your marketing.

Leverage all you do. Whenever you make a contact with browsers, prospects, customers, or friends, consider how you can communicate information about your products and services. Is there a way to use each interaction as a stepping stone to assess needs, offer solutions, and move individuals through the purchase decision process?

Make a conscious effort to ask for referrals. In many industries, referrals are the lifeblood of the business. Starting a referral campaign is easy and can be done simply by asking. You may also consider offering an incentive to individuals who pass along your name or encourage others to transact with your company.

Focus on creating a dialogue. If you are interacting via multiple media such as fliers, letters, emails, etc, make sure that you include valuable information and promotional offers. This can keep your business moving forward and is easy to implement. Think about adding a promotional postcard to your next package with an offer your customers can't refuse.

Keep testing new things. Especially in tough times, it is very important to dedicate a portion of your budget toward trying new marketing methods or ideas. Even if it is just ten percent of your budget, all it takes is one success idea to have a significant impact on your lead flow or revenue.

Improving marketing results does not have to cost you money. In fact, some of the best, most successful marketing ideas were started with little or no money. Think viral. How can you leverage the assets you already have? By taking what you have and making it better or expanding it, your results will often scale. To many people stop short of fully riding out their marketing campaigns and enjoying the results they can achieve if only they persist.

Offer a free download on your website. What can you do to attract more visitors and have them give you valuable information about themselves? The information you provide could be a free informational packet, checklist, or video. If people want free, you can give it to them but remember to ask them for something first. Be the master of get/give and you can build your list quickly.


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