I first read this quote several years ago and have always remembered it. It’s a good answer any time I’m asked what we do when we have a project with limited or zero budget to work with, and it’s something I absolutely believe in. Today, with the power of social media to communicate to a network I believe it holds more true than ever before. There are so many small business success stories that have not let a lack of funds get in the way success with a great idea.
More than ever before, you core product has to have a strong idea. Seth Godin blogged on this subject in saying that strategy matters more than ever. His advice to change your business model if you have to (free to expensive, low service to high service etc.) is absolutely right. Your ability to overcome a lack of marketing budget starts with the strength of your product. Once you have that in place, and you have defined your ‘why‘, you can use it as a platform for great marketing that takes full advantage of your network, the web and social media.
Don’t dwell on your lack of a budget, even if you’re up against competitors who are spending by the bucket load. How can you be different? can you be more authentic? what can you offer by way of added value? how can your campaign be engaging and effective in a way that others can’t? Can you capture tomorrow’s trend or story and not yesterday’s?
If you’re really struggling to work out your marketing plan with a limited budget then stop focusing on the tactics and detail and go back to your idea. Is it strong enough or does it need to change? How can you bring it to life and really excite people? Who are your target audience and how can you get in front of them where they are? How would you approach it if you were Apple or Google, Virgin, Innocent or any other iconic brand?
Still struggling? Then get out, go for a walk, take a bit of retail therapy or get online and take a look at some up and coming brands and businesses to see what they’re doing you might mirror. Get a group of people together and share the challenge, think about how you can turn the problem upside down, think about what you believe you’d do if you ad many 000′s to spend on a campaign and then ask how you might achieve a similar goal.
A limited marketing budget can affect speed to market, scale and can close some doors, but as long as you have a great idea you can achieve great things.