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Cut Marketing Costs? Mission Possible

by Randall Craig on December 6, 2013

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing

Tagged as: , , ,

Most entrepreneurs have a secret that most larger organizations have sadly forgotten:  Cut your costs and you’ll make more money.   And in no other area is this more true than in the area of marketing.  Why is this?

1) Momentum of the past:  If traditional advertising and promotion have always worked, then doing more of the same means more of the same success.  In other words, why bother changing?
2) Ignorance of the present:  Many people see cutting marketing spending as a zero sum game: less advertising means fewer enquiries and lower sales.  Very few consider using alternative web channels where the cost is zero, or close to it.
3) Self-serving advice from agencies:  If you were an agency that was paid commission from ad sales, why would you recommend a campaign with zero commission?

We are not advocating a significant cut in ad spending, or that traditional advertising and promotion shouldn’t be an important part of the marketing mix, but rather that there is value in exploring  non-traditional channels.   Especially if your target audiences can be found there. And especially since cost savings flow directly to the bottom line.

So where are these non-traditional channels?  Here are several:

  • Craigstlist: Free Online classifieds.  Make sure that you
  • Kijiji:  Free Online classifieds
  • Facebook:  Find local or special-interest “for sale” pages.
  • Local event listings:  Every city has numerous online venues for events to be listed.  Google “Events” and your city name to find them.
  • Eventbrite:  Free event management and registration site.
  • Your website:  Too often we forget that an enhanced site will do better on Google (and once users are there, there is no competition.)
  • Google Places business listings:  “Claim” your business to be found on Google maps searches.  (And consider adding a discount offer.)
  • Bing Places:  “Claim” your business to be found on Bing searches.

This week’s action plan:  While it may seem unlikely that these all would be 100% appropriate, search each of them anyway:  are your competitors there?  Are any of your target audiences there?  If so, set up a few test listings, and see what happens.  (Hint:  for Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook, you will probably want to update your listing every day.)

The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
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Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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