Last week I went to MWLIve – I wanted to listen to a few of the debates and speakers as I’m always interested in hearing others views on marketing. Amy Lees, Brand Manager at St Johns Ambulanceand Kerry Chilvers, Brand Director at Direct Line spoke about “Marketing on a shoestring: Being creative with tight budgets” They shared their experience of creating marketing impact with limited funds. Having worked on £multimillion marketing campaigns as well as much smaller campaigns – for me, it’s those with a much tighter budget that push me to think more cleverly and make sure that every £ counts. Inspired by the stories from that session here is my…..
Top 7 Tips to Creating Impact with Limited Funds.
1. Only try to achieve one thing.
Have a single-minded objective. Do you want to increase sales revenue? Launch a new product? Raise brand awareness? Drive more traffic to your website or improve retention rates? You can only choose one. Each require the use of different marketing disciplines which have their own nuances in how you use the appropriate channels, messaging and tactics. Brand awareness techniques will not always drive sales revenue. Direct response activity will not improve retention. Don’t expect that you can achieve multiple objectives with one campaign. Success may have a knock-on effect (e.g. increasing awareness may drive more sales), but you would be best to put your efforts into doing one thing well instead of attempting to do many things and reducing the overall effectiveness.
2. Be highly targeted
You can’t boil an ocean with a small budget so you are best to try and be a big fish in a small pond. Select a specific target audience where you know an opportunity exists. You risk creating something vanilla and bland If you spread yourself too thinly and try to appeal to too many different types of people with one campaign. (mixed metaphors alert!)
3. Insight insights insights
I have previously written about my love of a good bit of insight. Getting that nugget of information about your target audience that can fire a creative direction is the difference between a campaign that will wash over someone vs a campaign that will motive them act as you desire. You need to know how your audience buy, why they buy, why they don’t buy, the journey they go on when they purchase and the channels they engage with. Try and find out as much as you can. You don’t need to break the bank to do so – here are a few money saving options
4. Be brave with your creative
With a limited budget, you will have to be economical with the volume of channels you can access which will naturally limit the number of times you could be seen. Your campaign must have impact from the off. To get noticed amidst the other million messages that your audience will see on a daily basis you have to make it count. Now is not the time to be shy. If you have a good bit of insight into your audience challenge your creative team to really think through an interesting way in which it can be brought to life. Show your creative ideas to a gathered panel of your target audience and get their feedback, but now is not the time to be a wallflower. Be bold.
5. Use Video
With a limited budget media channels like TV, radio, direct mail and press are probably not an option. Your best bet is to go digital. With Social channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat allowing video content it’s the most versatile option available. Video is much more engaging that many other forms of content. 5 billion YouTube videos are watched every day and tweets on Twitter that include video are 9x more likely to be remembered.
Review the social channels in which your target audience is most likely to use and then create a mini commercial in a simple video format. Video doesn’t have to be expensive but with 54% of consumers saying that video content is what they want to see from brands they like vs email newsletters (46%) or social updates (41%) it’s the medium to use. The same report also talks about how video is more memorable at 43% vs 18% for text. With video production becoming much more accessible and cost effective you have an opportunity to create something authentic and impactful. Plus, with one video idea you can create multiple edits and enable your creative to live across numerous channels.
6. Be ready for success
It may sound silly but so many times I have seen a company fall flat when the impact of a new campaign is damaged by a lack of planning for success. Make sure you are ready for the next step in your customer’s journey. If you are directing traffic to a website makes sure that you have your web content optimised and up to date. If you are launching a new product make sure that it is in stock and you have people on hand to manage the sales. If you are driving social engagement make sure that you have people ready to respond.
7. Don’t botch it up by blagging the things you don’t know how to do.
Bring in the professionals for things you can’t do instead of trying to do it yourself and getting it wrong. If you have never done social content seeding, built a website or written copy then now is not the time to start. Don’t undo all the good work done further up the line by scrimping in areas where the proper resources are needed. There are many incredibly talented individuals – ahem, cough cough – mentioning no names (GingerTree – marketing.uk) who are available on a project, freelance basis and can give you the expertise you need.
Next week I’ll share with you an example of where I have seen these tips put into practice with brilliant results. In the meantime if you have any top tips then please share. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Tricia Rogers is a freelance marketing consultant at gingertree-marketing.uk. Providing a wealth of experience in brand development, multichannel communications and strategic planning. View www.gingertree-marketing.uk for more information.