Targeted marketing can save money in tough times. The back to basics concept is very simple. Accountability and tracking for every dollar spent to give the business owner a strong return on their marketing dollars. Marketing drives sales. Consumers and business owners cannot purchase new products and services from other companies if they do not know about them. Plus, developing your business brand so that customers think of you when they need Product X, Y, or Z requires a consistent effort over time. But I need to drive sales right now! You say? OK, let get down to it.

To market successfully, every business has to ask itself, who are my best customers and how do I reach them? For example, if you have a national business and all your customer contact is done by phone and internet you will have problems meeting clients face-to-face. On the other hand, a strong state wide business with a mobile sales force will have frequent face-to-face meetings with clients and build strong customer relationships.

The effectiveness of your marketing efforts depends on how to leverage your marketing strength. There is no point in spending time and money trying to play catch-up with other businesses if their marketing strengths are different from yours. You may be in the same business but have very different marketing techniques. Let's say you have a city-wide plumbing business. Can you match the marketing budget and brand of a national services company? Probably not. But you have excellent relationships and referrals from your existing customer base, right? So why not send them postcards to thank them for their business at the end of the year or perhaps customer feedback letters with a postage paid envelope?

The key to making your marketing dollar count for more is increasing communication with your clients cost effectively. You can spend a great deal of money acquiring new clients by advertising or build a solid business based on referrals. Chances are it will take a colossal blunder to ruin a good client relationship. They trust you, so build on that trust by showing them that you don't take them for granted.

Follow-up calls are very cost-effective means of maintaining client relationship. By following up with clients you make a connection based on your product or service and deepen the relationship, plus it let's you explore what other interests the client has in your business. This is a great opportunity to introduce new services as long as it is not done aggressively. Sincerity is essential, if a customer does not think you have their best interests at heart, they will not be ready to give you their business.

Finding the best marketing method to communicate to potential clients is very important. Offering new customers a sizable discount is a very good way to start a relationship. When a marketing campaign is underway a few different methods known as "channels" will be used to communicate a message. Telemarketing is a very effective channel. Very often telemarketing will be combined with another channel "direct mail" to contact people in their homes after a mail out.

In order to calculate the most affordable marketing method you will need to understand how to calculate the return on investment known as (ROI). Simply put, it will be the number of sales you need to make when compared to the cost of the campaign. Let's say that, every time you make a sale the profit is $150 and you will be launching a direct mail postcard campaign. If the campaign costs $1000 to send 10000 postcards each month then you must make 7 sales per month to pay for the campaign.

$1000 Marketing Cost / $150 profit = 6.6 (rounding up to 7)

This would be a .7% return rate on your marketing mail out; typically, direct mail has a 1-2% return rate. This means that you could expect up to 10-20 sales from this marketing channel. Keep in mind that the offer and the copy on any mailing piece must be top notch to create a sense of urgency and excitement for the prospective client. It fact, direct mail is still the most successful marketing medium yet and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Many companies that are creating a mailing campaign as part of their marketing mix will contact a list broker. A list broker is a marketing specialist that sources lists for B2B and B2C marketing campaigns.