Marketing is one of those fickle entities that we feel we need to pedal faster to keep up with, and much like the latest tech trends, there is that sense that we either stay up to code or fall behind. But marketing continues to evolve in so many different ways that we think, potentially, bigger is better. So what do we do? We think about getting more money, and we believe that in fact, getting more money is the best way to boost our marketing prowess. But is a big budget truly pivotal to business marketing success? Let’s show you exactly what everyone should consider.

Is Creativity Improved with Cost?

Lots of marketing agencies can become caught up in the “what if” scenarios, especially when it comes to finances. Clever, innovative marketing can seem easier to access when there’s more of a budget. Companies that have access to a DJI Avata 2 drone can therefore create imagery that’s far more expansive and has that grand, expansive look and feel, but we have to remember that when it comes to tools and tactics, cost is not everything. 

Certainly, a drone might be a perfect way to capture certain types of images, especially those wide-scale shots that provide that “wow” factor in advertisements, but for small businesses and startups out there who think that they need to access a drone and other types of technology to have that big-budget look and feel, the reality is that they will frequently punch above their weight by being creative. 

When we are backed into a corner, there is a lot that we can achieve with the right attitude. Creativity is often the result of pressures, either in terms of financial or time constraints. And it’s always those moments late into the night when the strangest and most random thoughts come that completely revamp an entire approach. Budget is not everything, and clever marketing is about ingenuity and can often outperform the brute force that is expenditure. We certainly see companies use stylish photography and big-budget settings for drones or mass events, but the smaller businesses need to remember that this is not essential.

The Sense of Strategic Alignment

When we align our marketing activities with the overall business goals, we can make do with a lot of components, and it gives us a far greater focus on what we need to accomplish, regardless of the size of our wallet. 

Every company is always striving to get the most value for their organisation, and it can be a case of the grass being greener on the other side, especially when smaller businesses wonder what would happen if they had a little bit more marketing budget. Those who really don’t have two pennies to rub together need to ensure that they understand their business goals and priorities, and this means they’re able to create more appropriate content or marketing strategies that are in tune with the business. 

An effective marketer will always strive to bring value. Anything that comes in under budget is always heralded a success, so what does this say for small businesses that think they need more money? Very simply, it’s about going back to the drawing board and recognising that the product is the message, and everything else around it is just window dressing. There’s always marketing tactics that you can utilise for free, like SEO (search engine optimisation). As SEO continues to evolve and is in place to bring value to the customer, when we address those core aspects of our business that can bring about seismic changes with relatively little financial effort, it’s all because we are in the business of strategic alignment, rather than the business of selling.

The Fallacy of Diversification

Many organisations think that diversifying is the best possible way to go. We think that to get customers, we need to ensure that we pop up in so many different ways. However, this is the mistake small businesses make. It’s not about getting your message out there across as many different social media platforms as possible but about a targeted approach. That’s not to say we shouldn’t completely ignore diversification. Ultimately, this is where cross-marketing comes into its own, but you can start to integrate marketing through different channels and tactics but also align it with other business functions between the overall effectiveness of the marketing efforts. 

For example, when organisations purchase Google Ads, they think it’s an amazing way to put themselves in front of the right people. Regardless of whether that click converts into a sale, you have to pay for it, and the cost per click (CPC) could be very high within competitive industries, making it challenging to achieve that potential ROI, especially for smaller businesses that have limited budgets. 

As your ads will stop running as soon as you hit your daily budget, this can restrict the potential reach and impact of your campaigns, and ultimately these ads are useless without effective landing pages and a well-designed website. Google Ads are part of a strong digital marketing strategy, but so many people think that the more money you have to throw at it, the better it will be. But when you hit your budget limit on ads, you’re not getting the benefits, unlike search engine optimisation, which has a longer-lasting impact. Therefore, diversification is something that ultimately seems to be an effective solution, but when you look at who your target audience truly is, you can focus your efforts far more effectively.

Understanding Where You Are

Marketing is nothing without measurement. Continuously measuring your performance and optimising campaigns based on your data—in other words, data-driven decision-making—is essential. For any company to get the most impact from their marketing spend, they need to look at if what they are doing is truly worth the investment. 

Many organisations can find themselves over-budgeting and thinking that they need to focus efforts in one particular area but then do not check the data after a couple of months and opt for a “set it and forget it” approach. This is where money can be better off being burned. Continuously measuring where you are ensures that you get the most out of your efforts. 

We seldom look at how a business can maximise its potential during the early stages, but for small businesses that have very little budget, you need to constantly check things like engagement. When you learn to measure and optimise what works and what doesn’t through things like A/B testing, you soon start to recognise what is worth your while. Creativity is something that, we all need to understand, can thrive without a budget. When you continuously test and measure the marketing mix while adjusting it accordingly, you’re going to optimise your marketing efforts as well as your budget allocation.

Is Communication the Missing Ingredient?

We are all guilty of looking at our marketing efforts and thinking that as long as we have X amount in terms of our budget this will cover up a multitude of sins and errors. The reality is that those small businesses are far more effective in terms of their marketing campaigns, not just because they have to be infinitely creative and target the approach to the right people, but they also need to leverage strong communication and collaboration

A small organisation has the ability to develop a shorthand of sorts, especially within communication. Because a small business has fewer people, they therefore develop a far more effective working relationship, and this is something that can be severely lacking in larger organisations. Sending an email and awaiting a response is something that could take a whole 24-hour period. Therefore, everything runs a lot slower, meaning that there’s more people who need to sign off on something or there’s an abundance of disagreements that focus on seemingly unimportant components. There can be endless debates about a logo, a type of word that needs to be within a social media post, and all of these things can be viewed as smoke screens because quite possibly many of the members of the business are trying to get out of doing certain things or they want to do it their way and they can’t envision how someone else works. 

Collaboration and communication are so important to a business that if we had people who opened their minds and were able to understand what works for the greater good, everybody can benefit. In this instance, a big budget is not suitable in the slightest. The more we pay, the longer it could take for real results!

There’s a lot to unpack here. A big budget is not everything and we all know this deep down, but so many marketing specialists may look at getting a certain amount of impressions or traffic to a website that these things are metrics that don’t always translate to getting a customer to buy a product. A little bit more money is always useful, however, it can be at the expense of creativity and innovation.