Today’s consumers are buried in advertising. Television broadcast ratios of advertisement time to program time have nearly doubled since 1999, from 15% to over 30%. That means for every hour you watch TV, 20 minutes of that hour are commercials. They’re no longer commercial “interruptions; they are commercial “mini-shows”. And the costs of broadcast commercial time have almost tripled over the same time span.
But your company must advertise and market itself, especially if it’s a small business with lower brand awareness. How can you cut through the clutter in today’s advertising bloated society with a decent marketing plan on a limited budget?
There’s no big secret here. You have to create a high-impact marketing plan on a limited budget. Forget about one-off radio ad blitzes. Or hiring a fancy design firm to build you a shiny new website with all the bells and whistles that can burn through your budget faster than a California wildfire, and devastate your marketing plans while it’s at it.
Your small business needs to get its message out to your customers on a regular basis, and make that sales revenue grow.
Look Out for These Mistakes
Number one, expensive, heavy advertising weight does not necessarily translate to increased sales. You’ve got to make every marketing dollar spent produce good returns in sales.
Two, you must identify your target customers and then they need to hear your marketing messages at least seven times to influence a buying decision. If a marketing strategy does not allow you to repeat your message often enough to make an impact, then it’s too expensive.
Three, you need to utilize multiple marketing channels to get your message out there. Prospects will more likely become buyers if they read about your company in social media, and then hear about it in a seminar, where they take home a brochure that they might share with a friend.
All of your marketing just needs to keep connecting and connecting.
How About Direct Mail?
It may seem a little old-fashioned, especially with everyone’s fixation on social media these days, but direct mail still works. Everyone’s got a mailbox and they visit it every day or so. If you’re message is in there, potential customers are going to see it.
According to the latest surveys from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail is up to 30-times more effective than email advertising. The survey showed a response rate of 4.4% for direct mail, to only 0.12% for email campaigns.
So the data clearly shows that putting an attention-getting message, literally in consumers’ hands, right at their mailbox, is an effective marketing tool. The possibilities of packaging that message are practically endless.
So make sure that you wrap that advertising message as attractively as possible. Take the time to do a little research with a large supplier like EnvelopeSuperstore.com so that your marketing strategy is solid, all the way from the outside of the envelope to the message inside.
Digital marketing may be cheaper than direct mail when you get into the arcane details of ROI tables and charts, but it’s hard to argue that the slightly extra cost isn’t worth it when you compare the effectiveness of the latter.
Try to Piggyback Your Marketing Campaign
Rather than going it alone with your marketing plan, see if you can piggyback with a larger company and grab some of the fire from their big budget ad campaigns to promote your company.
For example, Walmart spends millions on new store promotions and usually offers incredible savings on opening day. That store location, and its parking lot, are going to be packed with rabid shoppers, salivating over the breathtaking deals the marketers at Walmart have prepared for them. What better place to slip a colorful flyer, advertising your company’s incredible deals and low prices, than under the windshield wipers of cars belonging to Walmart customers who, obviously, want good products at low prices – like yours.
Form Joint Ventures with Similar Companies
One sure way to stretch your marketing dollar is to join your resources with others to form a joint marketing venture. Teaming up with another company, group of companies, or a large business entity for the purpose of expanding your business influence can certainly create a more powerful market presence.
And sharing ad resources will not only bring costs down, but will also extend a shared, cohesive message over a larger market that can benefit all the participating companies when it comes to the bottom line: reaching more customers.