Doing More With Less: What to Do When Marketing Budgets Are Limited
In times like these, where every dollar counts more than ever, marketing efforts are often scrutinized and marketing budgets become limited.
Marketers may find themselves caught up in crisis communications and damage control, which can make it difficult to prioritize other activities. Budget strains can amplify this, often resulting in paused campaigns that have no “re-start” date. This, in turn, can result in a loss of momentum that may be difficult to gain back later.
Rather than risk losing your progress, now is a great time to find new ways to work with the resources you have so you can adjust your messaging and continue on.
Here are some tips on doing more with less and optimizing your efforts when marketing budgets are limited:
Streamline Your Targeting
One way to alleviate some of the strain on your marketing budget is to evaluate who you are trying to reach, and allocate your resources toward a smaller, more targeted audience.
This allows you to conserve your resources in a few ways: spending less money on the list itself, needing to produce less pieces, and paying less in postage.
And with the right targeting, your message is more likely to reach people that will respond, so at the same time that you are saving money, you may be bringing more in.
Once more resources become available and you have a greater capacity, you might consider scaling up your efforts to continue with a targeted approach toward a larger list again.
Leverage Available Promotions and Free Tools
Postage can account for a significant portion of direct mail budgets, but the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) does offer several promotional discounts to help offset some of that cost, around 2% of eligible postage.
Discounts with registration periods that are still open include:
- Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Mail Promotion
- Emerging & Advanced Technology Promotion
- Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion
- Mobile Shopping Promotion
- Informed Delivery Promotion
Your direct mail provider can help you determine if your campaigns qualify for any of the promotions, and work with you to get you set up with the USPS.
In terms of digital marketing, Facebook and other online advertising platforms offer flexible solutions that might work for you, depending on the size of your intended audience. These platforms frequently offer credits and other discounts to help you extend your reach.
Take Things One Task at a Time
When it feels overwhelming to try to keep up with all of your usual marketing tactics, try to focus on one task at a time. You might dedicate a block of time to updating your blog with all of your important communications and policies, another block to working on an email newsletter with a link to your blog, and then another block to designing a direct mail piece that ties everything together.
When you keep your focus narrowed like this, you can give each task proper thought and attention when you may otherwise feel stretched thin.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
If you find yourself without the same internal resources you usually have, you can work with your vendors and other outside resources to fill in the gaps. They may be willing to work with you during these stressful times. When the budget has more flexibility again, you will thank yourself for being more resourceful in the meantime.
The Bottom Line
While a smaller marketing budget may seem intimidating, there are ways that you can be resourceful and do more with less. These tips are not limited to times of crisis and can be applied any time a reduction in marketing budget is seen.