A couple of weeks ago I talked about how you can cut from your marketing budget without losing momentum… While it’s never good to cut out marketing completely, sometimes you just need to tighten things up until you have more money to play with. If you are considering cutting your marketing budget, as you are making decisions on what to cut out there are certain things that you really just shouldn’t cut out of the budget.
Here are four things that you should not cut from your marketing budget.
Channels that are working
This should go without saying, but if you know something is working to bring in new customers, find any way you can to keep it going. After you have done your marketing audit and prioritized your marketing tactics, it should be clear what is working and what isn’t working. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And, I should add, don’t cut it out.
I was talking to one entrepreneur who actually said to me that they know if they stop blogging the leads they are getting will stop coming in, but because it was the biggest expense below payroll they were considering stopping. When you are going through a rough patch, you want to invest in the things that will help to get you out of it. You should also not just cut for the sake of cutting.
If the past year has taught us anything it’s that you need to have SOME sort of online presence. While social media may not be the right thing for you, you do need to at least have something like a website to act as an information hub. You need somewhere for people to learn about you and see that you are a legitimate business. It also gives you a chance to showcase your expertise and tell your brand story in a controlled way. We all know that once it’s out there on social media, in the media, with influencers, or even with customers, you have to give up a bit of control when it comes to your brand and the messaging you have developed.
Ongoing dialogue with your audience (aka customers and potential customers) is important. If they have no way to interact with you then how are they supposed to get to know you? Not only that, your interactive channels can also serve as effective customer service channels. Any marketing strategy you implement for your business should be designed to build relationships with your customers. And to do that you need to be able to have a 2-way dialogue. It’s those interactions that create intrigue and let people get to know that brand personality.
There are a few different resources that come into play when it comes to your business. Expertise is one of them. If there is something you don’t know how to do yourself, it makes sense to hire someone to do it for you. The alternative is learning how to do it, but then you have to invest both time and money to learn – and it can take time to become an expert. In these situations, you need to weigh the cost against the benefits of each option. Where your marketing strategy is concerned, there are so many different skillsets that go into building and executing a successful strategy that it can be hard to be able to do everything. Figure out what you can handle and work with an expert to get the rest done. The right expert will help you figure out a great middle ground. It should never have to be all or nothing.
If you’re looking to have a big impact with your marketing, but you just don’t have the budget, don’t give up. You can make smart choices when cutting into the budget!
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.