News, ideas and insight.

Five Steps To Keep Marketing Projects Within Budget

The victim of a weak economy, marketing budgets at many professional services firms (and elsewhere) have tightened. Some have even shrunk. Yet in today’s highly competitive marketplace, firms still must market themselves through such tools as websites, branding, announcements and holiday cards.

EP_Blog_Full

Here are five suggestions from Electric Pen to help your firm develop effective marketing tools while staying on budget:

#1 Pin down the objective you want the marketing tool to achieve.
Say you’re a lawyer with an estate/trusts practice. You want a logo. Here’s an example of a well-crafted objective for the logo: “The logo must appeal to individuals who are about to retire or are retired, are 65 or older and have a net worth of $1.5 million or more.” Failure to properly define your objective will almost certainly produce a less effective marketing tool. Even if you stay within budget, you’re getting less bang for your buck. In other words, you haven’t exceeded your budget, but the money spent hasn’t produced the best possible result.

#2 Make sure you and the design firm agree on the project’s scope and the services to be provided.
Spell out the arrangement in your contract with the design firm. Nothing will bust a budget more quickly than failure to include services you haven’t budgeted for but now need. Even worse: because of the type of project, the additional services cost more as an ad-on than they would have cost if provided initially.

#3 Take some of the project in house.
Electric Pen recently designed a website for a law firm. We provided the firm with fully functional, individual web pages. To save money, the law firm had its in house IT specialist string together the pages, a task Electric Pen usually performs . Because the specialist had time to provide the services as part of his regular workday, the law firm saved the cost of hiring an outside vendor.

#4 Establish a long-term relationship with a design firm.
This relationship will provide the design firm with an in depth understanding of your culture, your business and your clients. When you hire this design firm for new projects, it already will know a great deal about you. You’ll spend less money educating the design firm about the project than if you hired a first-time design firm for it.

#5 Don’t mix a tight budget with a tight timeline.
A tight timeline may require undesirable short cuts and overtime, thereby decreasing the finished product’s effectiveness and increasing your cost. Always remember: it takes time to create quality marketing tools.
Electric Pen works closely with clients to help them stay on budget. This produces satisfied clients who achieve their design objectives without spending more than they expected to spend.