The holidays are everyone’s favorite time of year because it means it’s time to start thinking about next year’s budget… okay maybe not so much. But budgeting for your business needs certainly can make you feel safer and more excited about the opportunities ahead in 2017 for your business.

Unfortunately, this article is not about holiday cookies or parties (you’d have to visit my Pinterest page for that type of content). No, this post is about taking a hard look at your 2017 goals, budget and cost-effective tips for your marketing strategies to help you meet those goals. Marketing is essential to your profitability and growth, it is worth the budget you can put towards it, however at Bradford Pear Marketing, we know the importance of a cost-effective marketing plan.

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Here is a list of tips to receive the most out of your marketing and advertising budget:

Don’t hire someone with less than 4-5 years of solid marketing experience to perform your marketing functions: This should seem like a no brainer yet companies are constantly looking for a “Marketing Specialist” or “Marketing Director” or even INTERN to bring on board. Unless this type of position has a direct report that will coach and train them, it’s a big no-no to leave your marketing needs in the hands of someone inexperienced. Not only will they not be as efficient as someone with more experience, they are not an expert just because they are a millennial and use social media in their personal lives.

How much is that inexperienced marketing person costing you? Around 30k+, benefits, what else? If you find the right marketing consultant or firm, they will cost you half as much, no benefits and have years more of experience! Maybe you are paying them less than $30k which is a surefire way to have a high turnover, or even worse have someone cost you more money because of their poor marketing efforts.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for coaching, teaching, and training. I love having interns and hiring grads and watching them grow and leave the nest. But you wouldn’t be doing yourself or your marketing amateur a favor by giving them a role that they won’t be able to develop into without the proper guidance.

 

Start email and start now with a free version until X subscribers: The sooner you start the build your email list, the less advertising it will cost you to build your list later on. Email is not dead and for most businesses, it’s a business running necessity. With programs like MailChimp where it’s free to send emails up to 2000 subscribers, it’s a no brainer to get started. Test out a few ways of collecting emails, see what works best for you. Typically, once a business receives 5000 emails, that’s when they start to see a return, so it makes sense to get there sooner rather than later.

 

Decide what sponsorships will truly benefit your business: Not all sponsorships are going to see an immediate return but would still be very beneficial for your business. There are some key traits that you should think about before deciding to sponsor with another business:

  1. What type of audience will you be reaching?
  2. How many people are in this audience?
  3. Will both you and the potential partnership mutually benefit from the sponsorship?
  4. Are you thinking of all the ways that you can gain the most brand awareness out of this partnership?
  5. Can you negotiate the sponsorship fee or package?

 

Is that Advertiser the best way to advertise your business? Do you really need Groupon, MoneyMailer or Clipper? Is there a better advertising medium out there for your business and budget? Think social media advertising and USPS Every Door Direct post card mailers, these type of mailers have the ability to directly hit the audience you want, and you will know who receives the ad. These forms of advertising put you in the driver seat of the ways you choose to advertise or promote your business.

 

Take Advantage of Special Offers with your vendors: A lot of times, vendors run a New Year special offer. For a limited time, Bradford Pear Marketing is offering a special holiday offer for new clients! If it’s starting or restarting a marketing plan that’s in your plan for 2017, take advantage of this special offer now.

Are there other areas where you think your marketing budget could benefit from in 2017? Let us know.