No matter how many times I talk to clients, prospective clients, an audience – I’m surprised by how often people think of marketing as starting something NEW. A new campaign. A new program. A new channel. A new product. A new release.
Perhaps it’s because there is a promise in ‘the new’, or perhaps it’s because it’s just more interesting to start something than it is to be in the midst of working on something.
Next time you’re tempted to start something NEW in your marketing, I’d suggest you take a ‘zero budget marketing’ approach and instead evaluate what you already have, or what you’re already doing, before spending a cent on something new.
Review your existing website – Are there enough opportunities to engage with you, how is your SEO performing, is the content in dire need of an update? Would a new ‘template’ make all the difference? Is it all looking as professional as it should? Are all your online properties linked to it?
Review your existing social media – What are you already doing? Are you doing it often enough, being engaging enough? Is it actually generating a return?
Review your existing and past customers – Have you been in touch with them lately? What other services could you be offering them? Have you asked them for referrals? Have you provided any additional value they haven’t had to pay for?
Review your pricing – Is it too low? Can your market bare a slight increase (it usually can, despite what you think), can you bundle what you’re selling to create a better value but higher value sale?
Review your email list – When was the last time you went out to them? Could you be emailing more? Have you made an effort to update the emails of those whose emails have ‘bounced’?
Review your existing lead generation activities – If you have online listings on Google or other platforms, have you checked they’re compelling, up to date and supported by positive reviews? If you have existing standing advertising, is it working as hard as it should be or does it need a refresh? Are you following up all the existing leads you’re getting promptly and regularly?
Review your marketing systems – Are the tools you’re using still the right ones? Could you automate more? Could you link them better? Do you need to rethink the way it’s all working?
Review your existing brochures – Is the content still relevant? Are the images still right? Is there enough call to action? Or valuable content? Are there any errors that need fixing?
Hopefully you’ll see there’s a lot of work – but a huge amount of opportunity – in the above audit. Most of this won’t cost you anything more than your time, attention and creativity. Yet the returns could be immediate.
So before you start something new, make sure everything you’re already doing, you’re doing as well as you possibly can. That’s the zero budget marketing way!