When a marketing budget is bursting at the seams, it can be tempting to make big changes, but these are more like knee-jerk reactions than strategic decisions.
It may be that cuts are necessary for some areas, but before you make any drastic cuts to your team’s resources or consider losing staff, try not to panic. It’s likely that several smaller changes will add up to a more significant saving than you might think.
Making your current processes more efficient and giving employees the tools they need to improve productivity can have significant benefits. Here’s how digital marketing teams may be able to cut costs in simple but effective ways.
Embrace Automated Marketing
A big drainer of time in marketing is the small tasks which eat into your day and prevent you from focusing on the activities that result in profits. Luckily, there are lots of tools now which take a lot of the administration away from your day via automation. There are plenty of social media scheduling tools available, and these can manage your communications and publish content at the best time.
There are also chatbots which can respond to frequently asked customer questions. Mailchimp and Marketo enable you to create and send email campaigns to a schedule and feedback the key statistics so you can analyze its success. Automation and artificial intelligence is not a replacement for humans, but it can definitely take the strain off and give your staff more time to focus on what makes the business profitable.
Don’t Work Harder, Work Smarter
This is particularly relevant to marketing agencies, but it’s also a good lesson for any marketing team. Make your interactions with clients as meaningful as possible by ensuring both you and them are working towards the same objective and tracking the same measures of success. When you do meet to discuss progress on a specific project, you need to be on the same page and can understand exactly what matters to your client from the outset.
In terms of team communication, try to reduce the number of trivial emails by introducing instant messaging tools like Slack, which will streamline inboxes and keep projects flowing.
Find Cheaper Office Supplies
Even digital companies need office supplies, and all too often, we spend too much on the products we use. It could be because we are convinced certain brands are better than others simply because they charge more, or it could be because we have been with the same supplier for a long time and just accepted the price increases. It’s always worth taking some time to shop around and see if you can find a better deal. Visit www.cartridgepeople.com to see if you could be paying less for paper, ink, toner, computer accessories, and stationery.
Target Your Strategy
You could spend a fortune on marketing and generating sales leads, but if the people you’re attracting to your business aren’t likely to buy from you, you’re going to be wasting money. You may be targeting an audience which is too broad, so consider looking at more concentrated, smaller segments. Your audience research should be based on data and not assumptions, but make sure you’re looking at more than age range or professions.
Customer insights should also include buying habits and lifestyle information such as the TV shows they like to watch. It will enable you to create a more bespoke marketing campaign which is more likely to return new customers. Consider using online surveys and customer interviews to gather this information and use it to create customer personas. You will be able to increase your customer understanding on a deeper level.
Lose What’s Not Working
Not every marketing channel is the right fit for every business. For example, many companies spend a lot of time working on creating content for social media platforms when, in reality, this is not where their target customers will be found. You may be spending a week or two collating a monthly email newsletter which doesn’t actually result in any extra business or engagement.
Take an objective look at all your channels and see which is most profitable. That’s where you should be investing your time. You don’t necessarily need to stop using the underperforming channels altogether, but you should make sure you’re using your time and money wisely.
Use Free Marketing Tools
Digital marketing is simply bursting with new online tools and platforms designed to help both agencies and companies to improve their operation. This could be a tool for keyword research like answerthepublic.com or an email marketing platform. Some tools require a subscription fee to open up all their functionality, service support, and intuitive interfaces, but there are lots of free tools out there too.
If you are paying for subscription-based tools, do some research to see if there are any free tools which offer a similar service. Try the free tools for a while to ensure they provide all the features you need, but you may find that you can save a lot of money by using simpler versions.
While remote working isn’t right for every business, it can offer some great benefits to modern teams. It’s never been easier to communicate from email and video conferencing to online instant messaging. By enabling team members to work from home or premises, which are more convenient for them, you are giving your team more flexibility, which is great for morale.
It could also reduce your overheads as you won’t need to furnish, rent, heat, or cool a workspace. You can set specific weekly meetings when the whole team comes together in a virtual meeting space.
Measure Your Performance
If you are spending chunks of time on specific tasks and you have no way of tracking whether or not the time has resulted in new customers, you need to rethink. This also goes for all the cost-cutting changes you’re about to make. You need to be able to test whether or not what you’re changing is having a positive impact on your business. Marketing teams are well-used to A/B testing, so make changes gradually and only rollout those which are proven to be a success.