July 26, 2017

How to Boost Sales While Spending Less on Marketing

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How to Reduce Marketing Costs

Marketing is a critical, yet expensive part of any modern business. Most major brand name companies spend a considerable amount of revenue on marketing; Salesforce, for example, spends a whopping 53 percent of its revenue on marketing, while social media giant Twitter commits 44 percent.

Regardless of how much your company can or wants to commit to marketing, it is nonetheless a costly affair.

Here are a few tips to help reduce those costs, and still generate leads and make sales.

How to Reduce Marketing Costs

Optimize Your Social Media Presence

While there are numerous platforms in which to market your products and services, social media is the newest; it also shows tremendous potential for marketing effectiveness at a reduced cost. Social media platforms like Facebook are a terrific medium for relatively economical, highly targetable online ads, so you can reach your target market at a reasonable price.

The social media platforms themselves enable you to build brand awareness and loyalty, both through paid as well as organic content; often the mix of both helps to generate significant buzz about your company and to generate leads. You can further positive word-of-mouth on social media by providing discounts to customers who write positive reviews. The social media platform Twitter can serve as an effective email distribution list for your company, alerting the public to new products or sales.

Finally, you can use all of the social media platforms that are out there to maintain contact with your customer base, essentially for free, and use your interactions with them to help expand it.



Leverage Data

Don’t waste your time or your company’s scarce resources advertising to consumers who are not there; instead, employ data to help shape your marketing plan, and how you execute it. A good place to start is with your current customer base; determine what makes them tick in regards to your company, and why they continue to rely on your products and services.

Online, written, and telephone surveys can help provide a window into the consumers who are buying your products. Your company could also employ other powerful tools, such as Google Analytics, to sift through marketing and online data, and the tools to help make it useful to your company. Using tools like this can help you to calibrate your marketing efforts to achieve maximum effectiveness while minimizing overall costs. Finally, ensure your company takes advantage of the troves of free and accurate data that is out there.

Government sources, such as Data.gov and the U.S. Census Bureau, can provide critical information to help you market more effectively, and at a lower cost.

Remember the Basics

Regardless of the high-tech tools, you apply, or the new frontiers in media you venture into, following long-standing marketing principles remains one of the best ways to market your company effectively while controlling overall costs. Avoiding costly mistakes, in print, online, and social media ads and posts can help prevent you from putting your company in a negative light and threatening sales.

Avoiding costly mistakes, in print, online, and social media ads and posts can help prevent you from putting your company in a negative light and threatening sales. Avoiding costly changes to your marketing strategy when the current one is working (as your detailed data clearly shows) is another way your company can manage marketing costs and still make good sales. Investing in well-trained marketing staff — through targeted recruitment, effective training, and follow-on education — is another way that you can have the most effective marketing department for the cost.

Finally, remember, one of the best ways to reduce marketing costs is to retain the customers you already have. Repeat customers are responsible for 40 percent of a given business’s revenue on average, so retaining customers is another great way to reduce the costs incurred in marketing to find new ones.

Business Photo via Shutterstock

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2 Reactions

  1. this is TERRIBLE advice and a terribly written article…..and ironically, the article contradicts itself right from the beginning. Salesforce & Twitter spend far more than the norm on marketing – most businesses spend somewhere between 10-15% of gross sales. So you ‘theory’ to spend less is a farce.

    First of all, using social media to replace email marketing will destroy your business, especially if you think it’s gonna be free. When you post to FB or twitter, only a relatively small % of your followers will actually see your posts due to the way they have the algorithms fixed now. The only way to better ensure you followers see your posts is to do a paid boost. Period. Email marketing is a far superior, measurable way to generate SALES….which social media is unproven to produce.

    Lastly, of course retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones. But you never STOP marketing to your best customers who drive the 40% you speak of. In fact, you should sharpen the saw and spend more…as they generally drive higher profitability because they are less price sensitive.

    • Anita Campbell

      Thanks for your comment, Mark.

      Yes, it’s true most businesses don’t spend nearly as much as Twitter and Salesforce (thank goodness!!!), but I don’t believe that was the reason for mentioning those figures. I believe the author was simply pointing out exaggerated cases to make the point that some businesses spend big on marketing and that the rest of us don’t have to spend nearly as much.

      When it comes to social media, I agree with you that organic reach has plummeted! Some platforms truly disappoint today. But I will say this, it’s still VERY possible to reach people without paying to boost. We do a little boosting but still get thousands of visitors a week through social media platforms without paying a single dime for that traffic.

      As far as social media as a replacement for email, in my view it all depends on your customers. Heck, I know colleagues (small business owners) who almost never send emails anymore. They communicate almost exclusively through Facebook Messenger and other chat. Other people (such as myself) prefer email. In my business we still use email marketing AND social media both — and find them both to be effective and necessary for our marketing. I’d hate to give up either at this point.

      Anita

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