The words “budget cuts” are still ringing in business owners ears. It’s a market reality, even as the Dow climbs above 10,000. However, these cutbacks shouldn’t mean limitations in your marketing strategies. It does mean that companies should become more strategic.

Meagan Noin from MassMedia suggests that before you undertake important tasks, competitive analysis should be made.

“Unfocused efforts lead to brand inconsistency, unmet expectations, and nine times out of 10, exceeded budgets,” she writes. Before beginning any campaign, she says a company should be able to thoroughly answer the following questions:
  • Where are your competitors marketing and why?

  • Are there places your competitors are not gaining exposure?

  • What is their strength? What is yours?

  • Since the strengths of you and your competitors are different, are your target audiences truly the same?

  • Is your pricing in line with your market goals?
“The more you know about your target audience, their perspective, what they value, and how you are different from your competitors, the more effective your marketing will be,” says Noin.

This awareness will help you spend less time and money targeting customers to which your business will not appeal, because ultimately you want increased revenue, not unfocused - costly - campaigns.