2015 Marketers Guide For Those Who Don’t Have Marketing Departments – Budgeting

marketing, budget, cutting

Don’t cut your marketing budget

2015 is nearly upon us, and you don’t have a budget to market your fantastic product or service. Too bad, 2015 is going to be a terrible year for you, and I don’t need a crystal ball to forecast that. “But, I have social media, and it’s free,” you say “But, I know a VP of Marketing at this HUGE company, and they’re going to help me out,” you say. I wish I had a big WRONG button.

#1) Social Media isn’t free – you already missed the train where social media was actually a social media. It’s now overrun by marketing people who puke messages out constantly that don’t resonate whatsoever with consumers (Have you seen my updates?). Social media used to be a two-way conversation. Now it’s not (although some brands are way better at the two-way conversation than others). Plus, think about the time you need to put in in order for Social Media to work for you. How much money is your time worth?

#2) Your VP of Marketing friend is useless to you as a small business owner. The VP is used to having HUGE budgets, relying on ad agencies, and having a team of well-trained “Yes!” donkeys on their side. How do I know? I used to be one of those donkeys. Not to mention your VP is probably too swamped to actively focus on you, and YOUR needs. Plus, they’re probably old (45+ or getting there), and are SOOOOO out of touch with consumers, especially the younger generations.

So, what do you do?

First – find a damn budget. I elaborate more on this here (it’s one of my most popular posts from this past year, so the majority of you probably read it, right?). Once you find a budget, find something you can own whether it’s a street, apartment complex, community or city. Just find it, and OWN it repeatedly. Ever notice the same Realtors on bus benches in certain communities? In the Real Estate world this is known as ‘farming’ a neighbourhood. Figure out your neighbourhood, and farm it. You need to make money in 2015, don’t forget that.

Second – after you found your budget, start cultivating your existing clientèle. Ensure the people who are coming through your doors, continue to do so, and they bring friends. I HATE incentives for new customers. Eff that. You should have incentives for REPEAT customers, and I don’t mean a loyalty card. Once you start seeing the same people repeatedly, encourage them to come back for private functions, and “Hey, bring a couple friends with you.” Or even have an event for your repeat customers or give them stuff for free or give them a hug. Whatever you do, ensure these people keep on coming back or at least refer people to you. Make these people your FANS! Fans = a continuous flow of money, and you need to make money in 2015.

Third – market your product or service. And stick to one thing in your marketing message, and steer clear of mentioning your ‘great customer service.’ So many people mention this, and trust me…you are not exceptional. As a consumer, I expect great customer service every time I walk through your door or come into contact with you. Don’t tell me how you have it. PROVE IT!

Fourth – understand that you need to market your product or service. I don’t care if you are too busy or your product is sooo good that you can rely on referrals. My dad fell into the same trap, and now he’s hurting a bit. Every time I hear that people are too busy or they don’t need to market I think about starting a competing business in their category because I know I can crush them (funny enough, I’ve already started).

How do I know?

Marketing trumps a better product or service. Even if you do have a better product or service, the guys who market their inferior product or service more than you will always win. They will make more money, they will have more fans, and they will gladly give you a few hundred bucks to wipe your tears while you mope in the corner in denial still relying on the fact that you have the BEST product or service. I don’t care about your product or service, if I don’t know it exists. I’m going to spend my money with the people who I know exist whether or not their product or service is inferior to yours. You need to market.

To my last point – please keep in mind you can’t market a shitty product or service. All the marketing in the world will only help you for so long until consumers catch on and realize you’re an idiot, and shouldn’t be in business.

Next up – I’ll relay a few points on authenticity. In this day, and age your company needs to be authentic, and relatable. If it’s not, the interwebs, and word-of-mouth will crush you into a little pulp.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

“I’m a small business. I don’t have a marketing budget.”

wallet, no money, marketing

Marketing dollars?

I get this often when I’m dealing with small business owners. First off – you should have money to market your business.

Do you have a sales budget aka how much revenue do you expect to make this year? Good. You have that number. Now – at a bare minimum – take 2% of that number. There’s your marketing budget. It would be best to have 10%, but let’s start with 2%.

So you have a budget now. What do you do with it? Whether it’s $500 or $500,000, find as many things as possible that you can own. What do I mean? Marketing dollars are often spent throwing money at this thing, and that thing. IT’S BETTER TO OWN SOMETHING! Take your $100, print some sales letter or brochures you did up in Word, and deliver them to every single apartment in the complex beside your business (or to every house on a street located near your business). Then do it again a week or two later. You need to hit as many people over the head with your message. The tricky part is ensuring the message MATTERS TO THEM. More on that here…

(Remember – I don’t give a shit about you, until you can do something for me. Whether it’s nourish me, allow me to keep an extra bit of jingle in my jeans, or help me out in some way, shape or form.)

You need to do this repeatedly. SOOOO many of you try something out once, don’t see results, and then say, “Well, that didn’t work.” Of course it didn’t work. Repetition Repetition Repetition.

Remember how you were taught in school? It probably went something like this… At the beginning of the class (or semester) your teacher would tell you what they were going to teach you, then teach you it, then review what they taught you. Repetition Repetition Repetition.

This is how our brains have been programmed since kindergarten, so start using the philosophy in your marketing. Find something you can own. Then repeat repeat repeat.

It sometimes takes me 12 – 15 contacts until I make a sale. I repeat, repeat, repeat my process. And you know what, when I call, walk into an appointment or see one of my prospects at an event…they immediately KNOW WHO I AM. It should be the same way with you and your business.

If you’re buying radio ads (for example), and you don’t have money to throw around like the ‘big guys’, again find something you can own. Maybe it’s an hour every Monday over the next few weeks. Maybe it’s an entire week. Whatever it is, find something you can own, then repeat repeat repeat.

1) Find money or find time to focus on marketing
2) Find something you can own
3) Repeat Repeat Repeat

As a gift (because I love you), tell me ONE marketing opportunity you have at the moment (print, direct mail, radio, tv, social media, whatever…) and leave it in the comments below (or email me or tweet me). The gift – I’ll tell you how to EXPLOIT that opportunity with repetition. I’ve bought nearly every type of media, and used as many media channels as possible to further the brands I work with, and myself. For being a loyal reader it’s the least I can do.

Love you,

Jordan