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Stretching your ad budget

Graphics | May 1, 2007 | By:

It’s a fact of life that most business-to-business advertisers have small ad budgets. Here are seven ways to get more out of your advertising and marketing dollars.

1. Use your ads for more than just space advertising. Ads are expensive to produce and expensive to run. But there are ways of getting your advertising message into your prospect’s hands at a fraction of the cost of space advertising. For example, turn the ad into a product data sheet by adding technical specifications and additional product information to the back of an ad reprint.

2. If something works, stick with it. Don’t create new ads or promotions if your existing ones are still accurate and effective. Run your ads for as long as your customers read and react to them.

3. Don’t over-present yourself. Advertisers see fancy four-color brochures and gold-embossed mailers from Fortune 500 firms. Then they say, “Why don’t we do some brochures like this?” The look, tone, and image of your promotions should be dictated by your product and your market—not by what other companies in other businesses put out.

4. Use “modular” product literature. One common advertising problem is how to promote a single product to many small, diverse markets. If your budget is tight, you can’t afford to create a separate brochure for each of these tiny market segments. In a modular layout, standard sections remain the same, but new copy can be typeset and stripped in for each market-specific section of the brochure.

5. Use article reprints as supplementary literature. Every company sales-person wants support literature that fits his or her individual sales pitch. But most ad budgets can only handle the major pieces of product literature. The solution is to use article reprints as supplementary sales literature. Article reprints can be used as inexpensive literature and carry more credibility than self-produced promotional pieces.

6. Explore inexpensive alternatives for generating leads. Many smaller firms judge ad effectiveness solely by the number of leads generated. If leads are all you’re after, there are cheaper ways to get them. New product releases lead the list as the most economical method of generating leads. The second best inquiry-generator is the direct-action postcard pack.

7. Get the most out of existing art, photography, and copy. Photos, illustrations, layouts, and even copy created for one promotion can often be lifted and reused for other pieces to significantly reduce creative costs.

Information provided by the American Marketing Association

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