Smart Marketing Strategies for Success on a Tight Budget

Marketing your water lab may not be the foremost task in your mind, but as the manager of a busy workplace, promoting your lab and brand is essential to your success. In the broadest and simplest terms, a smart marketing strategy focuses on reaching the right people and monitoring what works best. Given limited time and resources, here are some tips that will help support and advance your business.

Appreciate Your Customers

Although you may not yet know the full range of your potential customer base, you know your current and past customers. So, begin with them. Are their needs being met? Reach out directly with a survey or individual calls. Based on how they rate your service, ask if they'll refer you to businesses or individuals who might also need water lab services. Give them an incentive, coupon, or invitation to a special loyalty program. Show them you value their business.

Stay Focused on Short-Term Objectives

There are plenty of ways to get the word out about your business. And even though your time and resources may be limited, pick a handful of specific strategies at first — perhaps a cyber strategy that focuses on email, a website, or social media. Give it ample time and track your results. If this doesn't yield a sufficient response, expand your efforts or switch to another channel. The goal is to be proactive but not to spread yourself, or your resources, too thin.

Set Yourself Apart

Marketing showcases what you do, but what is your competition doing? Are you doing it better? This is your value proposition, and it needs to be clear, direct, and consistent.

Remember, your marketing decisions — including the communication tools and strategies you choose — all constitute your message. What do you want to drive home most to your potential customers? Is your lab less expensive than your competitors, or is your turnaround time shorter? Does your lab specialize in particular commercial or private testing areas? Branding is the "look" of your efforts — the logo, visual style, color choices, text fonts, and your overall tone on your website, social media pages, emails, and paid ads. Your message should be consistent across your social platforms so that when current and potential customers encounter your lab's name, they will know who you are and what you do.

Consider Outsourcing

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about outsourcing some of your promotion efforts, but outsourcing can save you money in the long term. It might be time to find and hire the right contractor so you can concentrate on running your lab. The fact that you're so busy and need help is proof that you're doing something right.

Be Patient

In this much-vaunted communication age, the sky is the limit to broadcast your products and services. Even if you choose just a few modes of communication, remember that all marketing takes time and money. Whether you write for your website, maintain social media pages, or craft your own emails, the tax on your efforts could cost real money. Call in your employees to help where they can. Rotate guest bloggers; focus on one specialist and let them broadcast their latest efforts. Encourage employees to take over different social channels. Spend the time to find the right balance, and your efforts will pay off.

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Jeff Rowe
Writer and Editor

For the past 25 years, Jeff Rowe has worked as a writer and an editor for the nonfiction and professional markets, including researching, writing, and editing feature articles, blog posts, speeches, project reports, and magazine essays. He has published numerous articles and essays on developments in health care and health information technology, the home medical equipment market, natural resource and environmental issues, and food topics. He has also been editor and community manager for numerous industry-targeted websites, as well as author of a developing series of novels set in medieval Spain.