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marketing without budget

Marketing rule: It’s all about the money, it’s all about the dum dum duh dee dum dum

When someone is telling you that he wants to go deep into sales but he doesn’t have the financial resources you might find yourself, as a marketing lover, in the wrong place. Very rare they are the situations when you can grow easy and smooth without needing a marketing investment. The budget might be even one pound but it’s almost impossible to be zero. Marketing needs money and is hard for us to understand why some people struggle to understand this. The worst scenario is to build one’s hopes up by implying that you will manage to do business without a marketing budget.

This marketing rule is fairly divided in 3 ways of watching money and marketing (and it could be way more examples):

  1. A couple of years ago, I faced the situation to “go marketing” when the marketing budget was keep on shortening. A handful of coins as a marketing budget could easily lead to zero budget in adwords. The consequences: stop remarketing – keep the newsletter. What comes in my mind from that period is like this:
  • If you are extremely curious to see how your sales are going down – cut the marketing budget. You will notice quickly that your place as a brand got replaced with your main competitor.
  • During these rough periods, which I like to call challenges, I would say the marketing department is in top 3 where cutting budget and staff is going to happen. I’m sure that many of us love working in marketing although this sort of challenge at a certain point will show up – more specific you might find yourself unemployed in no time being one of the first people that leaves the company.
  • Always be ready to deal with whatever you got but never accept to deal by having NOTHING.
  1. At a certain point I did some Pro Bono for a very interesting business concept. The young man who came with this idea was looking for contracts/clients and ways of promoting his business. As we were friends, we used to have our marketing meetings in a small coffee shop in central Bucharest where sometimes we were spending hours sharing ideas and sipping our coffees. I gave my ideas unconditional and for free. This Pro Bono, small as it was, was still about money. The amount of time that he spent there with me, the fact that he was paying for the coffee was actually his marketing budget that he wasn’t aware at that moment. Keep in mind – When someone is about to tell you that he has no marketing budget he will end up spending some money (even a small amount). You have to show him that he actually has a budget though he doesn’t see it as a marketing budget.
  2. Open a new excel file, gather all the figures in it, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a large amount of rows and columns full with numbers. Drag the mouse cursor in the right lower corner, hit auto sum and you got yourself a marketing budget with lots of “k”. And when I say “k” I’m not talking of 1k nor 10k but way more. After this you start playing with the rows, keep on sorting them and you get yourself a newsletter – sent to 700 email addresses – with an estimate cost of 2k. Open rate above average, CTR good, conversion – hard to measure. Why? Does it even matters why? It’s just happening! Funny fact is that is happening either you’re a small business or a corporation – which leads to the following conclusion:
  • Making marketing with a strong budget without a constant evaluation of your figures will lead to a huge marketing spending without clear results!

Perhaps the first feeling is that you have a “warm budget” that could make you stay in your comfort zone without watching the big picture and see how you can improve your spending and results. As someday One will come and One will make an audit and choose to cut your budget with 75% just because One will feel like that or One wants to invest in something else. And you can find yourself without a budget in a blink of an eye if you don’t take time to optimize your results and costs. So keep on spending but always improve!

You can be top management, middle position, freelancer or just trainee in the marketing department you have to keep in mind that marketing is about money! Even a simple facebook post leads to money or involve money spending.


Photo by nick hidalgo on Unsplash

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