So you've got a small marketing budget? That's OK, there's still a lot you can do to reach your B2B audience; it just may take a little more elbow grease.
The key to stretching a budget is shrinking your focus. Don't attempt to give every product or service or each geography an equal slice of the pie—that will only dilute your overall marketing attempts. Also, know your audience; market to the right people in the organization. Although your message may not spread as wide, it will certainly go deeper.
In terms of bang for the buck, direct marketing can still be one of the cheapest and most effective ways of reaching your potential customers. With a small budget, tradeshows and advertising may be completely out of the question. But by using email and snail mail, companies can still stay top of mind among prospects and customers.
Here are some things to try that will help you keep that constant stream of communication going without breaking the bank.
The good news is that email is free. The bad news is that many companies use and abuse this mode of communication. Your challenge will be breaking through the clutter—without spamming your audience.
I've successfully used the educational approach. Offer information you know that your audience wants and needs. One example is a monthly e-newsletter containing information pulled from Web sites that is informative or interesting to the audience. I've used material such as key industry metrics and articles of interest, links to recently published reports, and the like. Only one "company offer" was part of the newsletter, and our logo at the end and was the only link to us.
The newsletter was also offered by subscription only. By doing this, we really found out who the information was important to, and we could tailor our offers accordingly. It also helps with spam laws.
Jodi Bash has worked for startups and global corporations in various marketing capacities, including product management, marketing operations, program development, corporate branding and messaging, press relations, team management and sales. She has an MBA from Rice University.