We have heard that many businesses decrease, or eliminate, their marketing budgets in slow financial times. In fact, when finances are tight, we all need to expand our marketing budgets.
When we cut our marketing budget, our public presence diminishes, and the general populace believes that our 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, our marketing budget is not the solution. Maybe we should use our current budget better rather than throwing more money into our 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 us look better to our clients.
We all need to take an intelligent look at our 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, or other, we need to do the same with our marketing budgets.
So how does Gratitude 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 with whom we do business, our customers, our suppliers, our contacts, businesses that we patronize each and every day, and people that we 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 our daily contacts, no matter the subject of any conversation. It also includes contacts after a marketing call on our part or theirs. It includes customers after their initial purchase, and after a repurchase. Perhaps a customer sends us a referral who might become our new customer; perhaps they introduce us to a new supplier who saves us money on a product or service. Maybe the recipient of our “thank you” is just someone who has touched us, or someone we know, in a special way.
Don’t forget to include people who we have not connected with in some time, and don’t forget to include the contacts that fail to become customers. They will appreciate our efforts and remember us when someone else needs our service or product. Have we left anyone out of this list? Everyone includes everyone that we know or that we meet or we 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 which brings us nothing in return. It might take less time and effort than we believe. Look at everything in our marketing plans with the return on investment question in mind. Then look at the public perception of us and our businesses. What people believe us to be will shape their future business with us.
People do business with those that they know, like, and trust. Maybe we need to use that philosophy in building our client base, retaining the clients that we have, and obtaining referrals from those people that we know. It will make a difference in our business life, and it will make a difference in our personal life. The two are more connected than we think.