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Cheap & Easy: Three simple ways to get
more bang from your marketing budget

I was watching the news this week when a TV commercial came on for Run–After–It Bank’s direct deposit from your smartphone feature. A woman is at the zoo with her toddler. (That’s where I do most of my banking—at the zoo.) She takes a picture of a check and tells her daughter how it is going right into the bank. Then, the mom sees the lions, and snaps a photo. The little girl shrieks, “No, Mommy, No!” We are supposed to believe the daughter is afraid that the lion will now be roaming the aisles of the bank.

The only reason this got my attention was because it was SO bad. Fingernails on the chalkboard bad. I wonder what the backstory is? We can assume it was a huge marketing investment, but I don’t think they got good value for it, do you? So how did it go so wrong? Is this a case of the Emperor’s New Marketing? No one wanted to take a stand and say this is just bad?

Investing in marketing takes a good chunk of change, but like any investment, it only becomes expensive when it fails to pay dividends. So how can you stretch your marketing dollars and get the most return on investment? Below are three easy ways that will skyrocket your returns.

  1. Define Your Goal. Starting a marketing project without a goal is like going to the grocery store hungry, without a list. You end of with a bunch of separate things, but no cohesive ingredients to deliver a recipe for success. You’ll never know when you get there, if don’t know where you are going.
  2. Spend Wisely on Professional Photography. With the proliferation of digital cameras at our fingertips, it’s easy to discount the need for professional photography. However, the right professional photographer can make a silk purse of a sow’s ear. They will make the company, your products and your people look like rock–stars. But, to get the most bang for your budget, be smart about your bid request. Ensure that you request full rights for unlimited use of the images. Once you amortize the cost of the photo shoot over the number of images and times you use them (annual report, brochures, web site, ads, tradeshow graphics, and so on), then add the positive impact to your brand image, you’ll see it is money well spent.
  3. Make Smart Use of Professionals. Do you go to your doctor and tell him how to make you well? No? Then, if you pay for a qualified marketing or branding firm, don’t discard their advice in favor of that of amateurs. Don’t assume because experienced professionals make it look easy, that it is. Your friends, family or cohorts will offer many opinions in an effort to be helpful. And, there are plenty of people who will confirm the Emperor’s choice of new apparel, but sometimes it takes an impartial professional to tell you that the suit makes your butt look big.
Making your marketing dollars seem like a cheap investment is easy, if you spend wisely. Know what you want to accomplish, choose the right professionals to help you achieve that goal and allow them to do what they do best—showing your company at its best.

First Impression ChecklistFor a quick revelation of what may be missing from your brand experience, before you even engage your prospective client, download my free First Impression Checklist. It’ll give you some tips you can employ right away and provides a glimpse of the value a thorough brand evaluation can provide.


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Feelin' Alright: Selling the Experience

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