For many business-to-business companies who are just beginning to focus on marketing often have scaled back budgets. The reason? The line item for the marketing in the company’s budget has either been minimal or nonexistent making any investment a significant one.
For our SMB clients who are just beginning to make an investment in marketing, we often find the marketing plan we put together is heavily reliant on soft resources rather than third party vendor (or hard resources). Whether our client engages our outsourced marketing service or uses their own marketing director, there are many marketing activities that can be well-developed and well-executed in-house.
Here are 4 key ways to leverage your strategic marketing resources:
- Thought Leadership – A director of marketing with exceptional copy writing skills is a key asset to any B2B organization. Marketers who are strong copy writers can develop and lead the execution of thought leadership activities such as case studies, white papers and articles.
- PR – Developing and distributing press releases to key industry media is a powerful B2B marketing tactic and one that requires an incredible amount of time. With PR it’s all about generating a compelling story and then disseminating that story – which if you have hundreds or thousands of dollars can easily be done through a wire service. But when budgets are lean, it takes hours of effort to not only distribute the press release but customize it for key media and follow-up to try and secure media coverage. Read a previous post on tips to kick-start your PR effort.
- Email Marketing – Often a key tactic of any marketing plan is email marketing which is often integrated into an overall lead nurturing and customer nurturing program. With cost-effective email programs such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, marketers can create compelling, brand consistent templates that allow them to plan, write and distribute strategic email communications. If email is new be sure to read our blog ‘7 tips to ensure your B2B email campaign doesn’t cost your company $10M’.
- Digital Marketing – With many facets to it, digital marketing involves a lot of activities that simply require resources coupled with strategic thinking. From website updates to social media and search engine optimization, many digital marketing activities can be developed, executed and managed in-house. For example, if your company’s website has been built with a content management system, the Marketing Director can easily manage the website maintenance effort from copy changes to page additions. For SEO, if your company can’t afford to hire a firm, try using a website optimization platform such as gShift; this combined with your Marketing Director’s ability to develop a keyword strategy and tailor your website structure and content accordingly can set you on the right path. And you can easily hire a firm down the road when you’re ready.
And while some budget will likely be needed for things such as design and layout of a sell sheet, there are many cost-effective vendors out there. So, if your firm is considering or has just begun to allocate budget towards marketing, don’t feel like you need to break the bank. There are many ways to kick-start your marketing program provided you have a strong strategic marketer in-house or available on a part-time basis. If they have the skills above, you’re well on your way to implementing a strong marketing program.
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