Go the Distance on a Shoestring Marketing Budget

Go the Distance on a Shoestring Marketing Budget

When it comes to using advanced marketing tactics, sometimes it seems like you need a staff of dozens and a small army of outside partners to get it done. It can be chaos…and can breed chaos in response. But direct marketing has always been an arena in which the small marketer – armed with a good understanding of target customers and knowledge of the math used in communicating with them – can win big.

Shoestring marketing

In the webinar “Direct Marketing on a Shoestring Budget,” Carolyn Goodman, president and creative director of Goodman Marketing Partners and Cyndie Shaffstall, founder and CEM of Spider Trainers, joined with Target Marketing  to deliver a power-packed session full of actionable tips for going the distance on a tiny budget.

Carolyn begins by advising the use of company goals as the framework to determine what’s important for your business. Align direct marketing objectives with your business goals, and you can simplify efforts and focus on two major areas:

1)      Retain your existing customers: Current customers are your low-hanging fruit. They’ve already made the decision to adopt your technology or use your service, so make sure you’re dedicating enough of your time to them. The RFM (Recency Frequency Monetary) guide is a quantitative marketing technique that is used to determine the customers of highest value; by examining the recency of their purchase, frequency of purchases, and how much they spent on their purchase. The basic idea is that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.

2)      Gain new customers: Acquire new customers through understanding your current customers’ genetic makeup. You want to reach look-alike prospects, and since you can’t be all things to all people, it’s by far best to focus on the market you’re already excelling with.

The key takeaway is to yield better results and get the biggest bang for your buck by aligning marketing goals with business goals, and seeking out prospects that resemble your best customers.

Multi-touch marketing

Cyndie recommends multi-touch marketing as a good campaign choice when working on your shoestring budget. It lets you expand beyond the limits of your current company assets. It also allows you to provide optimum viewing experiences, enables sharing within networks, and allows your message to become more sticky. In the end, you should have better results and more sales.

Cyndie divided multi-touch campaigns into four categories: inbound/outbound marketing, and online/offline marketing:

  • Inbound marketing: Bringing people to you, engaging, and building a trusting relationship with them.
  • Outbound marketing: The process of broadcasting your message and soliciting business.
  • Online marketing: Any marketing in digital format, such as pay-per-click ads, downloadable assets, email, social…anything accessed through the Internet.
  • Offline marketing: Advertising through a medium that is not connected to the Internet, such as newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, radio, signage, billboards, etc.

A key takeaway here is choosing the right vehicle that will get you to your goal most effectively, and then defining measurable metrics. Online tracking tools can help define what was successful and what needs more work. Be careful not to waste time tracking things that don’t need to be tracked.

Cyndie also provides a formula to measure profitability per vehicle, to help you identify the channel that delivered the strongest ROI for customer acquisition. The example here is direct mail.

Shoestring marketing profitability

For more examples and a lot of really useful information, tune in to the recording of “Direct Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” and catch the whole thing.

Do you align your direct marketing objectives with your overall business goals? If so, we’d love to hear your input on how you do it, and what it’s meant to your campaigns and your metrics. Please leave us a comment!


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