How to get more bang from a reduced marketing budget ?

fireworksDid watching the fireworks make you wish your marketing budget was big enough to light up Dubai?

Another new year, another mesmerizing fireworks display courtesy of Dubai. Unfortunately just a few days later, you’re back at work dealing with the reality that your 2017 marketing budget isn’t as dazzling.

The good news is it’s 2017. As a marketer, you have more tools at your disposal to be creative with your marketing activities. Here are a few ways to deliver explosive results with a smaller budget.

Go digital

If you’re still not taking advantage of digital marketing in 2017, then you better get on the bandwagon. TVCs and outdoor ads can take such a huge chunk of your budget but digital marketing is more effective at a fraction of the cost. Invest in your online presence, optimize for search and utilize smarter advertising such as PPC, sponsored pages, re targeting banners, and the like. No matter how much Dubai loves giant hoardings, getting ranked first on Google Search can yield equally powerful leads.

Save paper

I love beautiful brochures. The tactile feel, special inks and stunning imagery can really elevate brand perception. However, they cost a lot to produce and distributing them can also be a challenge. And to be honest, very few people will actually read your brochure from cover to cover. This is why digital brochures are your best bet. They’re cheaper to produce and easier to distribute. They’re easy to update too without having to worry about dealing with a new print run.

So while there will always be a place for a printed brochure in your marketing, switching to PDF brochures and electronic mailers and newsletters should definitely be a priority. Make sure they’re still immaculately designed though. Save on the printing and distribution, not the design and content.

Make experience count

A fantastic TVC can raise brand awareness especially if it spreads organically and in social media. But for less money, you can invest in experiential marketing which gives you invaluable face-to-face interactions with your customers and influencers. An event that’s creatively conceptualized and impeccably executed can turn a lot of your prospects into ambassadors.

Produce smart content

If you’re already investing in producing digital content, make sure you’re doing it correctly. Don’t just churn out content (see Trump, Donald). To avoid common pitfalls and to keep it relevant and targeted, make sure you plan ahead and do a proper content marketing strategy.

Focus your efforts

Remember the 80/20 rule? In marketing, this means you can get 80% of your business from 20% of your customers. While the actual numbers vary, this should remind you to study your customers carefully and identify the high performing segments. This way, you can focus your budget on reaching this top tier without sacrificing your sales performance. Of course, the best way to do this is to invest in market research, CRM and activities with measurable outcomes. Which brings us to…

Measure your results

Another advantage of digital marketing is that it yields a ton of metrics, which is critical if you want to secure what’s left of your budget or even argue for an increase.  This is because it allows you to assess and fine-tune your initiatives over time. So not only do you have empirical evidence of the success of your latest YouTube video, you can improve it the next time out.  Now, if only that works with movie sequels.

Consider retainer contracts

If you’re outsourcing to agencies on a per project basis, you should consider having a long-term retainer contract. Despite what a lot of clients think from a savings standpoint, you’ll actually get more agency hours for your dirham, especially in the current climate where there’s a lot of room for driving a good deal. But it’s not only that. Longer relationships allow your agency to know your brand better and provide more high-value recommendations that will help your brand long term.

Play the long game

Brand building is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t blow your entire budget on a fad or a high-profile event. Just stick to a long-term plan, be consistent with your vision and combine this with short-term measurable activities. As your brand’s performance gets better, your marketing budget will likewise improve.

There are many other options for you to consider but starting with any of the above will set you on the right track. So just hang in there and let us know how we can help you further optimize your budget for 2017.