LONDON: As marketers come under constant pressure to deliver ROI while doing “more with less”, a leading brand strategy consultant has outlined four ways by which this can be achieved.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, entitled Marketing budgets: 4 ways to do more with less, Ruth Saunders says marketers can find efficiencies by adopting strategies that have proven successful for a number of start-ups.

She identifies these four key options as giving people a compelling reason to engage, developing strategic partnerships with influential brands, utilising community word-of-mouth and giving people a compelling reason to buy today.

She highlights Confetti, a British online wedding site for brides-to-be, as a good example of a new company that overcame its limited £1.75m start-up investment to exceed its year-one goals and make itself the UK’s top online wedding portal.

Keeping close to the concept of giving consumers a compelling reason to engage, the company focused its advertising on drive time media, such as radio and free newspapers, in the recognition that many urban brides-to-be travel to work each day.

Confetti also approached Hello magazine and for just £10,000 negotiated ten one-page wedding advertorials, each to be placed directly after an article about a celebrity engagement or wedding.

In addition to a monthly £10,000 prize draw to help couples pay for their wedding, the company partnered with major brands, such as British Airways (honeymoons) and Moss Bros (wedding attire) in free, quid pro quo, promotions.

According to Saunders, Confetti’s focus on engagement with its core target audience boosted its brand awareness by 46%, while two-thirds of its customers claimed to have visited its site because of its advertising.

Ella’s Kitchen, an organic baby food company started in 2006, became one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses with a 14% share of the baby food market within just six years.

A significant part of its success was down to founder Paul Lindley forming strategic partnerships with big brands, such as UK retailer Sainsbury’s and Nickelodeon, the cable and TV network that aims primarily at children.

For example, Lindley offered Nickelodeon a share of his profits in exchange for free advertising space and help with the co-funding of some ads.

Meanwhile, word-of-mouth proved to be a powerful means by which specialist insurance firm Bought by Many was able to grow its business.

Instead of using traditional advertising, Bought by Many utilised “community word-of-mouth” to drive awareness, supported by social media ads, to build awareness among niche interest groups, such as people with particular medical conditions.

Finally, Saunders emphasises the importance of giving people a “compelling” reason to buy. Obviously, pricing and promotions can generate interest, but she also recommends that brands constantly weed out poorly performing products to make way for ones that consumers want to try.

She points to beauty brand Max Factor and organic sandwich chain Pret A Manger as two companies that frequently experiment with the launch of new products.

Mars, Walkers Crisps and McDonald’s are also described as “masters” when it comes to offering limited editions that are available for a short time only.

Sourced from WARC