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Making the Most of a Small(er) Marketing Budget

A woman calculating her marketing budget

A robust marketing strategy is vital to any business. Still, without a strong mission, tangible goals to anchor it, and a marketing budget, you risk stagnation. Aiming for sustainable and long-term progress sets resilient growth marketing apart from the traditional approach, which focuses on the top of the marketing funnel.

It stretches beyond initial brand awareness and optimizes all funnel levels,  building a loyal customer base that advocates for your brand. With a vital mission, a compelling brand story, and robust customer engagement, it can turn regular companies into cult brands. Like Harley Davidson is synonymous with a biker lifestyle, these brands integrate themselves into customers’ lives and become a cultural phenomenon over time.

The good news is that you don’t need to have a sizable marketing budget to build your brand. Resilient growth marketing follows the 80/20 principle, with 80% of results coming from 20% of your efforts. This rule helps you to maximize growth by identifying your best assets and using a data-driven approach. It’s like picking only the best players for your dream team!

So whatever the size of your organization or marketing budget, it’s never too late to re-examine your current efforts and optimize them to generate more value. Here is how you can do it

Understand your ROI calculation

First of all, the key metric of any marketing budget is the return on investment (ROI) on campaigns. It helps businesses decide if their business strategy is effective or not. The ROI is a percentage that compares profit from a marketing campaign to the costs.

Let’s have a look at how a SAAS owner might calculate their ROI from Twitter ads vs. sponsoring a newsletter:

  • The business owner spent $200 on Twitter advertising.
    • They sold $300 in subscriptions tracked to users clicking on the ad.
    • Now they know that spending $200 on Twitter ads brought them  $100 in profit.
    • And soon they made a 50% ROI
  • If they spent $200 on sponsoring a monthly SAAS newsletter.
    • They sold $210 in subscriptions tracked to email subscribers.
    • Soon after they made a 5% ROI

In the future, this business might allocate more budget to scale Twitter ads and less on sponsoring email newsletters.

Yet, for the SAAS owner above, things could get more complicated. A campaign targeting their annual users may not have a calculated ROI until a year later. Having a robust analytics framework is the core pillar of a resilient growth strategy. With that analytics framework, they can effectively track performance metrics from the customer’s first touchpoint and for years to come.

ROI can also be more than about money. For example, the return on investment in video marketing may not come from direct paying customers. Sometimes it results in getting more subscribers, followers, social shares, or any desired customer action.

Monitoring ROI for each campaign and then rearranging the budget based on the most significant results helps you do more with less. Doing this will also help you make smarter decisions on larger budget scaling in the future.

Identify whom you target

Knowing who your customers are and looking for will increase your ROI potential for any campaign.

Imagine you are running an online candy shop online. Children may be your primary consumers, so it would seem intuitive to focus your marketing on them. But who clicks the checkout button? Who makes the purchase decision? The parents or grandparents.

Sometimes you need to develop several buyer personas if you serve the different customer groups. Remember, if necessary, to work on the multiple personas that go through the buyer’s journey.

Take a deep dive into the demographics as well as the psychographics of your target audience. Some brands will even visualize this persona by providing a name and a backstory. Adding this layer of personality helps to humanize your audience to connect with them and understand what brings them to your business.

A buyer persona includes various characteristics that you can use to connect on a personal level like:

  1. Interests
  2. Challenges
  3. Goals
  4. Professional life
  5. Demographics

Define your Unique Selling Point (USP)

What makes your candy shop stand out? Do you get your product from local artisans? Or have exceptional delivery conditions? Perhaps have rare flavors that you can’t find anywhere else?

Your unique selling point (USP) is what makes your offer stand out and how it provides value to your target market. It is the foundation for streamlining your marketing efforts and distributing your marketing budget.

To define your USP, you need to do a competitor analysis to understand better what similar brands are doing and how you can highlight your advantages. It’s like giving a diamond a good polish before showing it off to the world

Provide enough information

It’s not enough to have a website. When customers first engage with your brand, they expect your site to contain the necessary information to help them decide.

Don’t leave any space for doubt – provide details on stockists, an FAQ page, customer testimonials, and of course, your brand story.

The goal is to minimize hesitation and gain trust.

Create a dedicated landing page

A landing page is an opportunity to catch visitors’ attention and guide them to take immediate action, which is excellent for cold traffic or first-time visitors.

It doesn’t have to be a purchase. Often landing pages capture emails and contact information, which the company then uses to nurture the lead.

This way, instead of shoving your offer into your customers’ faces, you give them a chance to get to know your company and make the buying decision easier to make.

Provide engaging content

Let’s make one thing clear: there is no shortage of content on the Internet. If you create content, make sure that it is high-quality and provides value for your target audience.

Don’t create for the sake of creating – you might end up driving people to seek answers elsewhere and choose your competitors over you.

But the formats are plenty! Create video tutorials using your product, offer white papers, ebooks, and case studies for free download, publish evergreen content like “how-to” blog posts.

These are some of the many ways you can engage with customers using “addictive content” or valuable, problem-solving information while also demonstrating thought leadership.

Mid-funnel remarketing

Mount conversion efforts for upper-funnel leads, taking them from problem-aware to solution-aware. You can communicate your most significant value propositions through a case study or white paper targeted towards these leads.

These examples of your work show how your product or service provides concrete solutions. With a solid reason to buy, you can convert leads to customers with ease. It also works for leads that have already warmed up to your offer through previous content and will be easier to close.

Retargeting site visitors

Finally, retarget customers who have already shown intent and interest in your brand. Sustain this interest and convert it into a sale with special messaging or promos, like a discount on their initial investment.

Repetition works to your benefit as communicating your message several times creates familiarity, which will lead to a closed deal. The Rule of 7 is a classic example of Effective Frequency. Be careful, though, and test this effort to find your perfect cadence.

You can push further by leveraging customer reviews. People love learning about other peoples’ experiences and would rather trust their feedback. You can also explore referral programs and let previous customers promote your business.

The End-Result: An Efficient Marketing Strategy

These suggestions don’t require a huge budget and can make a significant difference for your business. Applying these principles will help you optimize marketing efforts and create an efficient marketing strategy that balances value with the budget.

Resilient brands provide real value to people’s lives

Resilient brands don’t push their marketing on customers. They create ways to provide real value to people’s lives. Also they are doing this with engaging marketing efforts that will turn repeat customers into loyal brand ambassadors. If they can do it, so can you.

Pushing your business to the next level can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our team of dedicated marketing scientists and growth experts is here to help you find the best growth opportunities. Are you ready to grow?