As business owners, we're all under extreme pressure right now to cut our costs. Unfortunately, many business owners get so focused on reducing costs, and not looking at the cost to revenue ratios that are affected. They lose sight of what it's going to do to the business. It's hard to grow if you don't have any customers.

Reducing marketing costs without screwing up your ability to grow is easier than you might think.

Here are five ways to do that.

Start by eliminating the waste out of your program. Over the years I've looked at quite a few marketing programs, and I can tell you that almost all of them have some kind of money drain or area that allow leads to be lost.

Before you cut anything, take a good hard look at what you're doing. Are there programs that aren't delivering the results you anticipated or wanted? Fix them or get rid of them.

Are there programs that can't be traced to increasing sales opportunities? I might differentiate myself and my company here but we are Larson & Associates are results focused. We don’t put in place too many marketing of advertising programs for name recognition. We put results first and foremost in everything we do. NO results, there is no reason to have the program continue. Unless you have a pile of extra money hanging around somewhere that you just want to waist and play around with, now is not the time to be spending money on marketing that don't generate more leads and sales or develop the ones you now have.

You need to make fewer marketing mistakes. Another way to say this is maybe it’s time to turn to people who know what they're doing. Believe it or not marketing and advertising and their proper use are really not all that simple as it looks. In the last 2 years it has changed quite a. Customers and prospects are in charge now, and they're looking for you online. If you're not on the internet, you're not in the game. If you don’t understand Social Media Marketing your attack is on a 4 legged stool with on leg cut off.

While I admire business owners who try to figure marketing out for themselves, it can waste a lot of time and can lead to mistakes that could be avoided with some industry experience. If you don’t have a marketing pro on staff or somewhere on your team you're probably wasting money.

Next you need to be nurturing what you've got going in the pipeline already. A bird in had is worth two in the bush. Don’t ever forget that! Successful lead generation programs bring in people in different stages of the buying process. Some are ready to commit more to you than others are. Some are ready to talk to a sales person and some aren't.

Think of any lead generation activity you've ever done: search engine marketing, email, advertising, telemarketing, networking, trade shows, whatever. Were all of those people who responded ready to buy or even schedule a demo of your product? Of course not.

But think about this a second. Aren’t those people closer along or farther down the buying process or sales cycle? Aren’t they closer to be buying from you as long as you maintain a relationship with them? Don’t drop the ball. If you're one of those businesses that have a bunch of inactive prospects sitting in a database you may be better off nurturing those people than paying to find new ones. And nurturing leads can be a lot less expensive than generating them in the first place. Of course that is why we at Larson’s have a service where we go though and contact all those dead or last accounts on in your books. Those can be gold waiting to be found.

Increase your conversion ratios not just inbound leads or traffic. This point is similar to the one above it, but it's important enough to look at from a different angle. Let's say you have 2000 visitors a month going to your website and 60% of them leave your homepage without going anywhere else. Which do you think would be cheaper, changing your website so that an additional 20% (400 visitors) stay on your site and go to the 2nd or 3rd page for more detailed information about your company or doubling traffic to the site? Complex purchases, such as technology, high ticket items, etc. are made up of many different conversion points where the buyer decides whether or not to spend any more time with you. Each of those conversion points can be tweaked to pass more prospects through and provide a better return on your investment. Go through your web site as a prospect would slowing and carefully or sit down and have a total analyst and review of your site down to make it user friendly.

Consider outsourcing your marketing. To have a successful marketing program requires skills in multiple disciplines, some of which didn't even exist a decade ago. And some which are changing so fast it is almost impossible to keep up with unless you’re an active user. For example, you could need:

Website strategy and development.
Search engine optimization
Paid search marketing.
Prospect conversion optimization.
Lead nurturing.
Direct mail program
Trade show strategy

Staffing an in-house team this expertise will cost more than most small to mid-sized businesses are willing or able to afford. Yet you can easily and more cost effectively get this expertise from an outside company. It could be worth looking into.

Larson Note: If you want to play the game you need to be out there. My suggestion to all my clients is to pick 3 or 4 marketing tools. Then learn to use them to at a maximum efficiency level to push out your message. If you can handle it, time and money wise, add another marketing tool into your mix. Use and tweak that tool to 100% utilization and efficiency while keeping a steady strong consistent image and profile for your company and brand.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

P.P.S. We are offering 2 free (a $75.00 value) ½ hour consultation periods per week to talk about marketing businesses. Call or email to get your spot to pick my brain for 30 minutes today.

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