There is no doubt that right now small businesses are having a tough time building their businesses. The slowdown in the economy means that everyone has less money to spend, and that can mean big losses for small businesses. At times like these it can be tempting to want to cut “extras” from your small business overhead like company picnics, NBA box seats, the flat screen in your office for “research,” and more. But the one part of your budget you don’t want to cut is marketing.
Although it can be tempting to cut your marketing budget, losing your marketing efforts can also mean losing potential customers; both new as well as existing. And if your business is already having a tough time staying ahead or even afloat, cutting your lifeline to new customers may just push you over the edge. Instead of cutting an expense that is so vital to the growth of your business, try and find more efficient ways to use your marketing budget, like online marketing.
Online Marketing is More Efficient
If you’re used to spending money on print advertisements, billboards and TV and radio spots, you’re probably used to wasting a lot of money. It’s not that these forms of marketing are ineffective—they certainly reach a large audience—but a lot of that money is wasted on people who are not potential customers and have no interest in your products and services.
On the contrary, online marketing campaigns can be extremely targeted using website demographics and keyword marketing campaigns that place your ads in front of the people who are most willing to listen to your message and buy your products and services.
Not only can online marketing better target your audience by interest and demographic but by location as well. With today’s technology and ad networks, you can target potential customers in your own local area or in areas across the globe that have shown the most interest.
Online marketing is both global and local at the same time – allowing you to reach exactly who you need to in order to grow your business and at a cost that is well below mass-media advertising. In fact, online marketing will cut your marketing costs dramatically by focusing your efforts on the future customers who are most open to your message.
Track Your Success
Another drawback of mass-media advertising is that it is extremely hard to track. If you produce a radio ad, there is virtually no way to track exactly how many people listened to the radio spot, how many took action on it, and how many bought something because of it. But online marketing allows you to track all those factors and more, so you know exactly how many people viewed and took action on your advertisements as well as the number of people who purchased a product as a result.
This type of data is invaluable for understanding which campaigns work and which don’t, information that can be used to refine your messaging and be more efficient with your marketing dollars.
Spend Your Money in Better Ways
Online marketing isn’t just about cutting down your budget; it’s about marketing more efficiently to the people who are most open to your messages. If you want to maintain your current customer base or help it grow, don’t cut your marketing budget during bad times, simply market more efficiently through online marketing efforts.