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4 Ways You Can Bring Down The Marketing Costs For Your Business

4 Ways You Can Bring Down The Marketing Costs For Your Business

Marketing costs are a significant chunk of expenses in any business. According to a report by the Iowa State University, start-up businesses should spend anywhere between 20 to 30 percent of their total annual budget on marketing. But if you are an established business, this figure can come down significantly to the 7-8 percent mark.

Regardless of what stage of business you are currently in, it is important to focus on the quality of your marketing spend rather than the quantity. By reducing your marketing costs and optimizing your spend, you will be able to free up your resources that can then be used to invest in newer channels of marketing and customer acquisition. In this article, we will take a look at some ways to do this.

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1. Don’t Invest In Monthly Subscriptions

SaaS tools have soared in popularity over the past decade and most online tools today charge a subscription fee to use their tools. This pricing model makes sense for the vendors, but as users, it creates a monthly liability that can significantly hit your marketing budget. One solution is to go back to the software alternatives that charge a one-time license fee. Another way to do it is to find competitor products that offer customers a ‘Pay As You Go’ solution.

Compared to monthly subscriptions, PAYG services only bill you for your consumption. This way, you are never charged for resources that you did not consume. If you do not find a tool that fits the bill here, do not hesitate to contact your favorite tool provider and request for a PAYG model. A lot of SaaS tool providers are accommodating with these requirements.

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2. Use Multi-Channel Marketing Services

Businesses typically invest in anywhere between 4-6 different marketing channels. This includes a suite of offline (print media, trade shows, TV ads, etc.), online (PPC, SEO, social media) and hybrid (SMS, fax, etc.) channels. Investing in niche tools that cater to these different channels independently can be prohibitive and the costs can easily add up.

Instead, identify multi-channel marketing tools that can do several channels together. For instance, instead of paying separately for SMS marketing, email marketing, fax marketing, etc., use a tool like HubSpot or Hubbion that can do multiple kinds of marketing from the same platform. This way, you do not end up spending separately on each of these different tools. Similarly, if you use social media marketing, do not sign up with tools that specialize in just Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Instead use a tool like HootSuite that does all of this from one place.

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3. Audit Your Expenses Each Month

Marketers routinely sign up to try new and interesting products that they think can grow their business. If left unchecked, a lot of these tools that a marketer never intended to use, could silently remain active and could bleed your business a lot of money each month. The best way to ensure this does not happen is by conducting monthly audits on the expenses incurred on your business credit cards and unsubscribing from tools that you do not intend to use. You may also go a step further and calculate the ROI from each of your paid tools so that you may be in a better position to unsubscribe from any service that is not providing you with enough value.

4. Ask For Discounts

It is now common for marketing tool developers to have a ‘Pricing’ page on their website that contains all the information regarding the various plans and features. Typically, only enterprise customers with large volume orders are provided with a quote commensurate to their use. Unbeknownst to a lot of businesses, the pricing plans displayed on the website are not always fixed and it is always room for negotiation. Before you pay for a service, always remember to ask for a discount. Even if you save your business a few dozen dollars a month, the overall savings from various tools over a year can add up fast and can help your business save a significant portion of your spending in the long run.

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Featured photo credit: Benjamin Child via hd.unsplash.com

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Anand Srinivasan

Marketing Consultant

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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