I’ve noticed a trend recently with small business owners. As the world of Social Media Ads, Billboards, Sponsorships, and TV Commercials gets increasingly complex and crowded, small business owners are turning to offline or organic sources for their new leads.

There is a resurgence in the small business community of focus on referrals, word of mouth, and person-to-person networking. I love it!

This trend is leading some business owners to pride themselves on not spending any money on marketing. This trend is great. There are few things I hate more than wasting money on ineffective advertising.

But there’s a dark side to this trend. While many of these businesses are growing, I can guarantee you they are leaving money on the table. 

In this article, I want to show you how you can minimize your advertising costs and maximize your growth. To do so, we’ll talk about the difference between marketing costs and advertising costs, and talk about how an investment in marketing can compound the impact of whatever growth strategy you already have working for you.

Advertising costs

Advertising costs include paid search, social media ads, billboards, sponsorships, direct mail, etc. What these all have in common is that they require an ongoing expense month after month to keep them active. Advertising costs get really expensive really fast. Especially in the more traditional space, it takes a ton of money to get in front of customers enough times for them to take notice. Consumers today are incredibly skilled at ignoring advertising.

Even with all the data available to us today, it can be challenging to trace sales back to which advertising channels work for your business and which ones don’t.

Add it all up, and you’ve got an expensive machine that needs to be fed again and again to keep it going. These costs can crush a small business, and many savvy entrepreneurs know it. 

However, marketing costs are different.

Marketing costs

Marketing costs are one-time expenses that provide you with value continuously and indefinitely. Marketing costs create assets for your business that you pay for once and then re-use again and again for free! Click To Tweet They work around the clock and need no extra effort from you. Examples are brand narratives, website content, sales scripts, lead magnets, and automated email campaigns.

These “evergreen” marketing assets provide a massive return on investment because they last so long. They can also be used to amplify any existing strategy. 

  • A brand narrative gives you a simple way to filter all the words you use to talk to customers online and offline so that you offer one clear, compelling story, consistently.
  • A great website makes it easier for your customers to refer your business to their friends and colleagues comfortably. 
  • A lead magnet can transform curious browsers into buyers and add tremendous value to your customers in the process.
  • Automated email campaigns can meet your potential customers right where they are and walk them step-by-step through a process you define to help them get to know you better and to help you earn their trust.
  • Aligning your sales process to your brand narrative will increase sales and make it possible to scale your sales process. It will allow you go beyond your own conversations and make it possible to build a top-notch sales team from the very beginning.

As you can see, while you are right to be concerned about wasting money on ineffective advertising, you are limiting your businesses growth by not investing in marketing

I firmly believe marketing can be one of the best investments in one of the most valuable assets for your business.