Bookstore Consulting Services Marketing Articles About Us Contact Home
We publish a monthly newsletter that gives you marketing strategies and ideas that you can implement immediately to help your company grow.
More Articles!

smart marketing budget management

Copyright 2003 Carol Ann Waugh

Tough economic times require us to re-think our marketing strategies and expenditures. And, it's probably not a bad exercise for us to periodically tighten our budget – especially as expenditures tend to expand in a growing economic environment when every marketing idea sounds like a good one.

If we have been vigilant over the past several years, we have measured the effectiveness of our investments so when cutting back is not a choice, we can at least cut back on those ideas that didn't return the expected revenues. (But, as always, we need to be careful in our measurement since in the school market, some marketing investments can take years to return!)

But once that is done, consider these other creative ways to reduce your expenditures without cutting the heart and soul from your marketing investments:

Tap the Expertise of Your Staff

People closest to the task/job know where the fat is within their areas of expertise. Ask them to help you identify where expenses can be cut without hurting productivity or revenues. The advantage of this strategy is two fold: people who are part of the solution tend to make the solution work better and you may find new ideas you haven't even thought of that you can use to help you in the future.

Tap the Expertise of Your Suppliers

Have your accounting department run a report of all the suppliers you have paid over the last year. Set up meetings with the top 10 companies and prepare them before the meeting that you want to brainstorm how to reduce costs for 2003. Let them help you by bringing their expertise with other companies into yours. You might find out that you can buy paper cheaper if you change your purchasing cycle. Or, you can bring that catalog cost down by ganging up certain jobs. Suppliers are a wonderful source for cost-cutting ideas since they want to keep your business and want to help you be successful.

Run a Tighter Ship

Good times generate a concentration on the "big picture" instead of the "efficiency of company operations". After all, who wants to nit-pick when sales are growing at 20% per year and new products are flying off the shelves?

But in challenging times, concentrating on making sure your operations are operating in peak performance is a crucial part of riding out the storm. When mailings are late, customers phone calls aren't returned, shipments are delayed, and the right stuff doesn't get to the exhibit booth on time, these are the little things that can end up costing you revenue. Tightening up on procedures and fixing those little things will pay off big dividends during tough times.

Don't Panic

My mother used to tell me the story of Chicken Little who ran around crying "the sky is falling!" "the sky is falling", getting everyone around her in a panic about something that wasn't even true. Well, I'm here to tell you the sky is not falling. And we shouldn't panic. But we should be cautious and wise in how we allocate our marketing expenditures over the next 6 months. After all, the 2003-2004 school year is not that far away and we will know much more about the economy in a few short months. And this will help us further refine our marketing plans for the fall of 2003.

This article was written by Carol Ann Waugh, President of Xcellent Marketing, a marketing and new business development firm specializing in the educational and library market. Xcellent Marketing offers a variety of marketing services to help publishers increase their revenues and profits from identifying new markets, providing critiques of web sites and marketing communications such as direct mail, catalogs, advertisements, etc. as well as developing effective traditional as well as Internet-based marketing plans. Carol can be reached at (303) 388-5215 or at


Bookstore Consulting Services Marketing Articles About Us Contact Home

Xcellent Marketing, Ltd.
1163 Vine Street • Denver, CO • 80206
Voice (303) 388-5215 • Fax (303) 388-0477


website design by sidewalk cafe design