How To Do More With Less

by Claire Cunningham

Your company's sales are in the toilet. Your budget has shrunk. How do you handle it? Here are some ideas for how stay visible while spending less.

1) Put bucks where they'll get the most bang. Start with results data on your communications programs. Compare results with your objectives. A picture of what's working best should emerge.

2) Focus on customers. Your best prospects are probably your customers. Talk to them! Ask them what they need to know and how they like to receive information. Then implement communications programs that meet their needs.

3) Use e-mail marketing judiciously. E-mail can be a lower-cost alternative to traditional direct mail or newsletters. But take time to learn how it's been used by others. Then start small and be ready to learn!

4) Add marketing public relations to your mix. Do you regularly publicize new products and services? Work with customers on case histories? Collaborate with editors on articles? Yes? Then you know marketing PR can extend your ad program's reach economically. No? You need to get started!

5) Use outside resources wisely. Do you see your ad agency (or designer, or whatever) as a black hole for money? Before you burn anyone in effigy, remember the "garbage in, garbage out" principle. If your agency partner isn't given clear direction, you're going to get back garbage. However, if you provide all the right stuff and still get back junk, break out the matches - and start looking for a new partner.

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About the Author

Claire Cunningham of Clairvoyant Communications, Inc. has over 20 years of experience in business-to-business marketing communications. To subscribe to Claire's monthly e-newsletter, Communiqué, send an e-mail to with Subscribe in the subject line.

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