5 Ways to Cut Marketing Spend

If you’ve been charged with reducing your marketing spend in 2020—or need to find more room in your budget—here are five places to trim expenses.

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If you need to reduce your marketing spend, at first glance it can be a challenge. After all, today’s marketing teams have bigger mandates than ever before. You’re managing endless channels, buying technology, and spearheading the customer experience. Yet managers that need to find ways to cut spending have to do it somewhere. Here’s where to look for those places.

Identify Leaks

The first place to look at cutting your budget are what some experts call “leaks.” It could be a freelancer you’re paying who isn’t being utilized or software subscriptions you’re still automatically paying that don’t get leveraged. All too often, we’re trying to buy time with money—and then we stop asking hard questions about whether those expenses are really adding value. Review where your budget is going, and you may find “plugging leaks” is an easy way to reclaim money each month.

Use Software to Automate Processes

One entrepreneur I spoke with was spending hours of her time trying to pull together social media content. She paid a writer $1,000 per month to create and upload Twitter content for her. Yet she found that by using a software solution to recommend relevant content and schedule it, she was able to complete the task herself in about an hour. The savings was worth the trade off.

Focus on Low-budget Marketing First

Recently, an author told me that her marketing costs were through the roof. When I looked at her launch plan, every book launch was based on paid newsletter slots, expensive PR campaigns, and advertising. She wasn’t keeping up social accounts, building her newsletter, networking with other authors, or creating content. In other words, because she failed to leverage organic solutions, she had to spend more in paid promotions to see results. Consider where you might have these opportunities in your own business.

Improve Targeting

Another way to reduce costs is to improve your targeting. For example, let’s say that you’re spending $1,000 per month on Facebook ads. Are all these funds going toward customers who are the right fit for your business? By laser focusing in on the people you most want to do business with, it’s possible to reduce your spending and have a higher impact.

Evaluate In-house vs. Outsourcing

It may be time to shake up your staffing model. Have you historically relied on outsourcing? Hiring a staff member may be cheaper. Or, if expensive benefits and salaries are dragging down profits, could a partnership with a marketing firm help you grow capacity and cut costs? Understanding where you are in your business cycle and what needs to happen to support growth can help you make the best choices for your business.

Don’t think that the best marketing requires reckless spending. Being intentional about your budget can help free up capital to invest for maximum returns. Dig deep and make sure your resources are being spent to the best effect.