In marketing strategy, sometimes the difference between good and great marketing
lies in how adeptly and strategically we manage marketing costs. Whether you are planning your budget or need to operate more leanly within your current budget, here are some strategies and tactics for reducing marketing costs.
1. Automate marketing processes. From time spent searching for approved brand materials and logos to updating materials when specs or branding changes, as well as campaign management, there are many opportunities to automate marketing processes and reduce costs. Marketing resource management systems make marketing materials accessible from a central web-based portal, eliminating unnecessary time spent searching for materials and resources or time reinventing the wheel creating new materials. Human error is also reduced, as campaign customization requests can be managed from within the system through a workflow approval process. Workflows also conserve staff time by making it quicker and simpler to manage and approve any field customizations.
2. Take control of co-op marketing. Marketing resource management systems enable centralized management of co-op marketing funds, allowing corporate marketers to specify co-op marketing budgets and manage costs against the budget for every user in a third party or distributed sales force – therefore reducing the time and resource costs of managing co-op marketing programs.
3. Consolidate systems and vendors. When partnering with a full-service marketing service provider, campaign design, printing and fulfillment, and execution can be managed end-to-end, simplifying campaign distribution and reducing staff time to coordinate marketing efforts. Because it costs more to manage multiple vendors, costs savings can be gained by centralizing services and customer information with one partner. Additionally, volume discounts may be available for consolidating your printing services with one print vendor.
4. Eliminate print waste. Smarter management of your printed materials and campaigns translates to less waste. A marketing resource management system can help you track and manage collateral materials for each sales representative. In addition, QR codes printed on collateral materials can be pointed to a website or v-card with the sales representative’s contact information, rather than printing the sales representative’s contact information on materials directly, ultimately extending the useful life of your collateral materials. Additionally, the risks of stockpiling and sales materials becoming obsolete are lowered with on-demand printing.
5. Reduce postage costs. By timing campaigns so that you can aggregate mailings, you can take advantage of direct mail cost savings through bulk rates. MRM systems can help in coordinating campaign management.
6. Use marketing service partners. Instead of taking on the cost of hiring additional full-time staff when preparing for a big marketing push, marketing service providers can operate as strategic partners and consultants to your business capable of providing agile and tactical campaign support on an ad hoc basis.
Post-recession, the strategy of doing more with less has become the new business standard. Strategically evaluating marketing costs for opportunities to work more leanly and productively within tighter time and resource constraints makes smart business sense. Full-service marketing service providers can help by streamlining the end-to-end process of campaign distribution and fulfillment while also simplifying and automating marketing processes to help conserve staff time and extend your marketing budget.
How do you strategically reduce costs in your marketing organization?