New financial year, new budget but often you donít get the budget you asked for, so how can you ensure you get good marketing bang for your, possibly limited, budget?
Well planning does come into it, identify the successes of this year and make sure you build on those as they are proven winners. Then address the rest of your budget and look at ways of getting the most for your money.
First you have to look at all the marketing you know youíre going to do, so all the Expos youíre going to attend, the communications campaigns, the customer reward promotions, sponsorships etc. All the Ďhave-toí things you know you need to do.
Then look at the crossovers in marketing materials and merchandise you can identify between these activities. For example, if you attend 4 expos throughout the year then look at the attendance numbers for last yearís events and bulk buy your merchandise rather than buy 4 times a year. You can save substantial amounts by buying in bulk and rather than panicking 2 weeks out from an event and having to pay more, settle for something you didnít really want because it can be delivered in time or turn up with nothing.
Much better to plan ahead and get the things that fit with your business brand message, whether itís eco friendly bags, drink bottles, pens, flags or marquee. Get them organised early and get spare items for those unforeseen events or client giveaway opportunities. These things donít date so always get extra so youíre not left short.
If you have brochures or flyers that donít date then order your years supply in one go, itís so much cheaper to print in large volume.
With both of the last points by having a stock of marketing materials you are always well prepared for any additional opportunities that turn up throughout the year.
This is also the perfect time of year to start organising your Christmas marketing. For most of us itís something weíre not ready to be thinking of, but in marketing terms itís time.
Imagine a November without that mad Ďseat of the pantsí rushing around? Use this time now to get the artwork done without the stress of a tight deadline. Choose your client gifts and merchandise knowing you have time to choose wisely and explore a variety of ideas to find the perfect one that fits with your brand. Avoid that knee jerk choice that you may later regret.
By planning now you can also take advantage of price points for having 12 weeks production lead time. Youíll save money and are guaranteed to have your materials well in time for Christmas, leaving you time to plan the Christmas party.