fatemeh fakhraieSlashing marketing and community outreach budgets are not new occurrences, especially in the last five years. Even though expectations for product and member growth increase, budgets don’t seem to follow suit.

So there you are, staring down your strategic plan for 2015, wondering how you are going to get even half of what you want done. Here are a couple of suggestions that may help you get the most bang for your buck:

  • Identify one key story and stick with it

During your planning process, determine the one story that you would like every person in that target group to take away. Identifying this up front will keep three of those most important P’s (product, placement, promotion) concise and on target throughout the year. Delivering a single, consistent and memorable message is the best way to keep your dollars on point and track your progress.

  • Invest in content marketing

Consumers need to feel trust, awareness, and positive emotion for your brand if you’re intending to woo them into a long-term relationship. Putting some of those precious budget dollars into a sound content marketing strategy that elicits these can pay huge dividends.

Consistently sharing valuable information, without the direct presence of your products, helps people understand and prepare for their most important financial events. And who knows? You might just be the first folks they think of when those moments arise because you’ve given them help in the past. Whether you create materials in-house or partner with a company for specific content, delivering good information that has value to your community (without a direct product angle) is a great way to accentuate your brand as a partner.

  • Don’t forget to allocate the cost of time

As you make those final budget decisions, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to allocate the cost of staff time and unplanned resources that will be required for success. It’s never easy to make the tough calls in prioritizing what you and your team can successfully do. But doing just that allows your dollars to stretch further because the choices you made will get the attention they need.

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