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Marketing on a tight budget

    You don’t always need to spend large amounts of money on marketing to gain significant benefits.

    Whether you are a start-up business on a tight budget or an established business trying to cut your marketing spend, there are a number of cost-effective solutions open to you. Spent wisely, even a modest marketing investment can deliver both short and long-term benefits to a business.

    This guide explains how to review and evaluate your current marketing spend. In particular, it outlines what to consider when setting your objectives and how to make them work for your business.

    This guide also explores how to maintain your regular customers and attract new customers to your business. Finally, you will find advice on a number of low-cost, high-value marketing and public relations strategies and how you may benefit from affiliate marketing

    Review and evaluate your current marketing spend
    To gain maximum benefit from your marketing budget, it’s important to review and evaluate it regularly. Any time and money you spend on marketing is an investment in your business. So you need to make sure it’s time and money well spent.

    Last year’s figures
    Examine your marketing spend against sales and revenue. Consider the campaigns you were running during periods of high and low sales.

    Some kinds of marketing activities are easier to measure than others. For example, a pay-per-click ad can show you how much you spent against the value of a sale. Activities like public relations may influence consumers’ attitudes, but it’s hard to put a monetary value on this and difficult to measure.

    Consider the following:

    the cost of each of your marketing activities, eg public relations, advertising, social media
    the influence of each activity on your customers’ attitudes and behaviours
    whether sales cans be directly attributed to particular marketing activities
    the return-on-investment for each marketing activity
    Changes in the market
    Consider any changes that may have happened in your industry. Have there been any fundamental changes in innovation, technology or conditions – eg a recession or growth spurt? There may be a change that has affected, or is likely to affect, your products or services, your products’ packaging, or even the distribution channels you use.

    You should also look into any new and potential market trends and assess whether these could affect your marketing efforts.

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