March 6, 2011

Marketing Budgets – Appreciation Marketing Can Help When Money is Tight


Recently I attended a seminar where I was reminded that many businesses decrease, or eliminate, their marketing budgets in slow financial times.  In fact, when financial problems are prevalent, we all need to expand our marketing budgets.

When a business cuts its marketing budget, their public presence diminishes.  The general populace believes that the business is going out of existence.  When a business increases its marketing budget, the public awareness is increased and people believe that the business is viable and stable.  They become, or continue to be, customers of that business.

Maybe deceasing, or increasing, your marketing budget is not the solution.  Maybe you should use your current budget better rather than throwing more money into your efforts.  Work smarter not harder.  This is a rule that should apply to everything that we do in business, including our marketing.  Using the correct tools is working smarter, especially when it may be easier, faster, and make you look better to your clients.

We all need to take an intelligent look at out marketing budgets and how we are applying those budgets to maximize our return on investment.  Just as we should maximize the return on investment on all our expenses, hardware, software, furniture, equipment, every expense that we have, we need to do the same with our marketing budgets.

So how does Appreciation Marketing apply to marketing budgets and maximizing our return on investment?  Sometimes the simpler methods are the most reasonably priced and the easier ones to implement and use.  Tom Hopkins, the author of How to Master the Art of Selling, advocates the art of the thank you.  Simply, he encourages everyone to thank everyone for whatever they may do.

Everyone includes anyone that you do business with, your customers, your suppliers, your contacts, businesses that you patronize each and every day, people that you meet, whether on purpose or by chance.  How does this help improve our customer base?  Maybe these people become customers; maybe they know others that can become customers; maybe they just become our networking partners.

The list of people to thank can be long.  It includes your daily contacts, no matter the subject of any conversation.  It also includes contacts after a marketing call on your or their part.  It includes customers after their initial purchase, and after a repurchase.  Perhaps a customer sends you a referral who might become your new customer; perhaps they introduce you to a new supplier who saves you money on their product or service.  Maybe the recipient of your thank you is just someone who has touched you, or someone you know, in a special way.

Don’t forget to include people who you have not connected with in some time, and don’t forget to include the contacts that fail to become customers.  They will appreciate your efforts and remember you when someone else needs your service or product.  Have we left anyone out of this list?  Everyone includes everyone that you know or that you meet or you remember in a moment of reflection.

Isn’t this expensive; doesn’t this cost money, time, and effort?  Yes and no.  It might replace a marketing effort that costs a lot more and brings you nothing in return.  It might take less time and effort than you believe.  Look at everything in your marketing plans with the return on investment question in your mind.  Then look at the public perception of you and your business.  What people believe you to be will shape their future business with you.
People do business with those that they know, trust, and perhaps like.  Maybe you need to use that philosophy in building your client base, retaining the clients that you have, and obtaining referrals from those people that you know.  It will make a difference in your business life.  In addition it will make a difference in your personal life; the two are more connected than you think.

Do you want to chat with someone about your marketing budget and how it can be improved?  Give me a call at 360-314-8691 so we can connect and help each other.  Email me with you ideas and thoughts at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or leave your comments here for others.  I am always looking to expand my networking partnerships.

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