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I’m cheap. There. I said it. Some people don’t like the word cheap. They’d rather be frugal or thrifty. Not me. Those are $2 words when a ten-cent word like cheap fits me just fine. I don’t spend money on anything unless I think it’s important. And. more and more, I think this is how we need to approach marketing. Gone are the days of big marketing budgets. I don’t advise clients to spend lots of money–certainly not on advertising, but not on anything else either, unless they know why it is important. I want to inaugurate the era of the Cheap Marketing Officer.

I don’t mean to pick on anyone who doesn’t agree with me. I have nothing against big budgets. Or heavy advertising. I know many people who are really good at that stuff. It just isn’t my strength. And most of my clients hire me because they really need to cut the budget but they don’t want to cut sales. They want to do the same (or more) business that they have always done, but they don’t want to spend so much. That’s when you need the Cheap Marketing Officer.

I don’t think marketing must be expensive. Digital marketing can be targeted to just the people you want to reach and can be tested to death, so that you come up with just the right message. You’ll know it’s right because you actually sell things.

I especially enjoy working with B2B marketers. Not only do their companies have no background in digital marketing–they usually don’t have much history of any kind of marketing. They don’t have a CMO because marketing has been such a backwater that it doesn’t need a Chief anything. That’s when you really need a Cheap Marketing Officer.

Sometimes people use the word cheap to mean stingy–someone who doesn’t spend on even the right things, but I don’t mean it that way. I just believe that we need to create a new marketing culture in those companies where marketing was never important because no one knew it was important. Now that it can be done cheaply, it is as important as everything else that leads to a sale.

So, how about you? Are you finding that you need to cut costs and find new ways to drive business with the same old budget? If so, does the head of your marketing team know the ways to be cheap without being stingy? Does your team cut the fat but not the meat? Do you even know when something is working? Instead of complaining about budget cuts, let’s embrace them and find new ways to succeed with less. Because it can be done.

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Mike Moran

About Mike Moran

Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and a senior strategist at Converseon, a leading social consultancy. Mike is the author of two books on digital marketing, an instructor at several leading universities, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research.

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