Remember the old financial advice your parents used to give you?
About spending less than you earn?
My parents always told me to put away any extra money I earned into a savings account.
“Don’t spend all of it”, they would say, pleading me to save it for a rainy day.
This is sound advice that forms the bedrock of any financial development program. When you make more money, don’t increase your spending to match. Instead, put the bulk of this increase away in savings, and spend the rest.
But how many of us do this?
And to the same degree, how many marketers do this when they get an increase in their advertising budget?
Most take that larger budget and blow it on their next campaign with fancy graphics, four-color brochures etc.
Remember: the advertising you put out should be based on your market and product.
Otherwise it’s a waste of those extra dollars.
Saving money on advertising
Many marketers in scientific companies are stretched thin when it comes to their advertising budget.
It’s a sign of the times – not only are you up the walls with creating lead generation campaigns and marketing communications … but you’re expected to do more for these campaigns with fewer resources.
To that end, below are some ideas to help you stretch your advertising budget – putting more of those dollars back into your pocket.
1. Use your ads for more than just space advertising
In other words, repurpose the heck out of your ads.
And this applies to all your marketing communications – always think 10 to 1. Meaning for every piece of copy you create (white paper, article, application note etc.), think of repurposing it 10 different ways.
Some ideas: Order a supply of reprints and get them into the hands of your prospects every chance you get. If you get a request for your new application note (either online or at a tradeshow), include a reprint of the ad with the app note.
And make sure all your salespeople get copies of these reprints and encourage them to hand them out whenever they talk to prospects.
You can also use your ad in direct mail campaigns. Send it along with a sales letter and reply card to a list of prospects
If you’ve several ads for the same product, turn these into an effective product brochure.
And consider turning your ad into a data sheet by adding technical details and more product info on the back of the ad reprint.
2. Don’t spend more than you need to
Remember that savings rant earlier?
Don’t spend your entire advertising budget on fancy graphics and design just because you can.
Scientists want to see communications that speak their language and resonate with them. Fancy graphics and glossy sales brochures will more likely hurt your marketing efforts when reaching out to this sophisticated audience.
So it’s a good idea to keep the design of your promotions basic and to-the-point – thus saving you money.
3. Use articles as sales literature
A terrific idea, which I’ve written about before, is using articles as sales literature, rather than creating ads. Instead of placing an expensive ad in a trade magazine, write an article instead.
And use reprints of these articles in your campaigns, and as supplemental sales literature when talking to prospects.
4. Don’t scrap current ads and campaigns
Finally, remember to keep using your ads and marketing communications while they still work. Sounds obvious, but marketing teams often change their ads, write new white papers, and completely abandon entire campaigns because they’re bored.
So run your ads for as long as your prospects read and respond to them.
You can also update an existing ad with new, relevant details without throwing it away completely and starting from scratch.
And you can keep optimising your promotions through split testing – the heart of direct marketing. Most marketers aren’t optimising their ads and testing what works… which makes it even more expensive over the long run because you’re losing leads.
So there are creative ways you can take advantage of to stretch your marketing budget beyond your means. The more of them you use, the more you save.
And yes, it’s also important to optimise your ad copy so you put your best foot forward. Writing great copy is another critical step because you increase response rates and conversions. This means more people reading and responding to your promotions.
To help you with this, the next issue will talk about writing effective ad copy for science and technology.
Look for it on July 14th.
All the best,