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The effect of a reduced marketing budget doesn’t have to be less marketing. As you experience what may be unprecedented cuts, keep in mind that this is an opportunity to look within and reevaluate strategies, implement new ideas, and seek greater marketing efficiencies. At the onset, it’s important to take inventory of the marketing channels you use and any existing resources that you may have overlooked. Here are some efficiency tips to get you started:
1. e-Everything. Bring on the e-newsletters, e-mail campaigns, and online analytics. Significant savings can be realized through electronic-based marketing and communication campaigns. At the same time, rethink how you use print catalogues and collateral: How can you use them more judiciously with your more qualified audiences? The measurability of electronic communications allows you to qualify interest levels. You can segment your prospects and reserve the more costly tactics for where you know you’ll realize a return.
2. Partner up. Two heads are better than one. It may be cliché, but, especially in tough times, can be true. By teaming up—be it with a channel partner, technology partner, or another vendor with complementary services—you can offer services that are mutually beneficial to your target audience. You might also choose to offer joint discounts, collaborate on a thought leadership piece, or jointly develop a campaign in which you share production costs, promotion responsibilities and, of course, leads.
3. Care for leads after the handoff. Even if you can’t put more dollars toward lead generation for your sales team, look at what you can do to make those leads you’ve handed off to sales more successful. Start by fine-tuning what you’re handing off as a qualified lead; then consider how you can better arm your reps with sales-ready messaging and tools to help them communicate your value effectively. And don’t abandon those leads that fell out of the sales cycle. Take a close look at the reasons and you might find that many leads that are worth re-engaging with a marketing touch.
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To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.