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Manage Your Budget Effectively

June 4, 2012

Online Marketing

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IKEA is one of my favorite stores for home shopping.  Their prices are low and their designs are not only abstract but functional, like me, but there’s one thing that I hate about them.

Their best commercials run maybe once or twice.  Since I’m no broadcaster, I can’t fairly speculate as to why the dull commercials are shown over and over again.  Though ideally any retailer or business that chooses to feature blended families, same-sex or interracial couples will experience a sales boost when shown in major cities like New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.  This concept goes over much easier in these places than it would at a rural broadcasting station.

So maybe they will change, maybe not.  These retailers have time and manpower.

Your business may not but you can still make a splash on a small budget.

Plan carefully – Many new business owners do not set aside a specified amount nor will they get the demographic data needed.  If you plan on advertising in a print magazine, then request a package that includes this information.  From there you can set a likely conversion ratio (For example, for every 1,000 people that read  ‘XYZ’  publication or website, I plan to add 500 to my current database and make 200-250 paying customers within six to twelve months.)

Designate an amount before spending – Like many facets of business, this can be negotiable.  Now, don’t think that your 3-line ad in the back of a major periodical will be bartered.  However, your local throwaway paper may be more flexible when comes to barters or incentives.  If your targets are those in the area, it definitely won’t hurt to develop a close relationship with local media anyway.  This way, if you miss out on an advertising special, having a rapport may have a strong advantage.

Keep in mind that marketing is an ongoing process – Many feel that because they can write catchy ads, keep track of customer coupons and maybe even write a press release, that they are the perfect person to do the marketing.  While no one but you knows the sweat and tears that may have gone into the process, marketing is a job like accounting.  Few people have the expertise and resources to do the entire process along with run a separate business.  So as you learn about the ways that work best for you, hire a contractor or outside business to take on this task.

Don’t forget the freebies – New online businesses tend to make methods like directory submission, word-of-mouth and social media their sole means of marketing.  It works for some but as things get more competitive, you will need to do a little extra.  Attending trade shows, networking mixers and other in-person events will help boost business and you may even meet people who can give you some fresh ideas.  Though some are on the fence about online classified ads, this may be a great place to start looking for help or advertise events that are happening in your company.




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