Making the most of your marketing budget

I’ve worked with small firms, sole traders and big business and it’s easy – and common – for each one of them to waste money on unproductive marketing activities.

If you want to make the most of your organisation’s marketing budget, it’s vital you spend the budget on the right activities for your business.

But how do you know what’s right for your company? To help guide you in the right direction, here are ten easy ways to maximise your organisation’s marketing budget, and some of the questions you’ll need to consider along the way.

1. Focus on fit for purpose. Who is your target audience? What marketing activities will reach them most effectively for the budget that you have?

2. Your organisation’s marketing aims should cascade from your business objectives. What does your business need to support and grow its activities? What future plans can you pave the way for? What focus does the business have that you can add value to through marketing activities? Operating marketing in isolation will mean that your business misses out.

3. Don’t get carried away by exciting ideas. It might be the most creative, innovative marketing idea on this continent, but what will it do to your bottom line?

4. Make sure your sales activities make best use of your marketing efforts. For example, if you’ve taken the time to secure some editorial in your target media, then why not send this out with any direct mail, include it in conversations with your customers and refer to it on your website? Always think, ‘how else can I be maximising my marketing investment’?

5. Think before you spend money on advertising or advertorials. Will it reach your target markets? How will you measure its effectiveness? Is there a suitable call to action? Are you doing this just because someone has offered you ‘a good deal’?

6. When printing literature, consider it carefully. How many copies do you need? How much is an extra 1000? Is it something you could effectively send by email or have an a downloadble, interactive PDF? Can you use it as a data collation method as well as an information source?

7. There is always a risk associated with any marketing activity. Consider the costs and benefits of a proposed plan so that you can make an informed decision.

8. An advert or advertorial is not editorial. Is it really paid for advertising you need? With advertising you do have complete control over the final content, however, editorial is independent so it’s more powerful. Editorial is also free! What would you put more stock in, an advert by a company telling you its product is good or an article by a journalist telling you it they have tried the product and it worked?

9. PR and marketing activities can be measured and evaluated. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. As well as evaluating whole marketing programmes, you can also establish how successful individual initiatives were.

10. Ensure you have researched any legalities before beginning a campaign. For example, if you are including a competition or voucher as part of your offer, what are the rules and regulations you need to adhere to for the type of competition/voucher you are running?


About Clare Bampton

Clare Bampton has nearly 20 years' experience in PR and marketing and founded Derbyshire-based Bampton Communications Limited seven years ago following a career including Lloyds TSB, The Boots Company, TNT and British Waterways. Bampton provides practical, value-for-money PR and marketing services to a wide range of SMEs and marketing professionals across the UK.