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  • Writer's pictureRenée Cormier

The High Cost of Cheaping-Out on Marketing

Updated: Jan 17

money, bills and a calculator on a desk.
Money Being Wasted

As we move into the new year, small business owners typically look for ways to increase revenue. They also look for ways to save money on marketing. While there’s nothing wrong with that idea, business owners should be aware of the consequences their choices could have. In short, there are some smart ways to save money on marketing and some really stupid things business owners do that sabotage their business. In this blog, I’ll discuss the smart moves and the biggest mistakes business owners make.

Digital Advertising

One of my favourite business quotes is from Henry Ford. He said, “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping the clock to save time.” This brings me to the first point I’d like to make about advertising for your business.

There are many advantages to running digital ads for your business. In the absence of a properly optimized website (I’ll get to that later), digital ads can pop your business to the top of the search engine, bringing in new business that you likely would never capture otherwise. Digital advertising also allows you to micro target your customers and prospects and measure the results. This is something that can’t be done effectively with traditional advertising. So, the smart move is to consistently run a strategic digital marketing campaign for your business. The stupid move, on the other hand is to pay your neighbour’s teenaged nephew or your admin assistant to run your ads.

This is your business! It’s how you pay for your lifestyle. Pay someone who knows how to write advertising copy and who knows all the intricacies of optimizing your advertising campaigns. What you say in your ads matters and the strategy involved in running campaigns is not something you should be leaving to amateurs. If you are not getting the results you want from your digital campaigns, then you need to hire an expert who devotes their time to learning everything they can about campaign strategy and optimizing digital ads. 

Website and SEO

Okay, here we go. Once again, don’t pay inexperienced and unqualified people to build your website. I have seen many small businesses with websites that look pretty on the front end, but have absolutely no SEO work done on the backend. If your business relies on being found on Google (not everyone’s does), then it is critically important that you optimize your site for search. If your competitors are ranking way above you, then your business is in trouble. Maybe you saved $1000 on your web site design but you lost a small fortune in missed business opportunities. How was that a smart marketing decision?


Who on earth is writing your advertising and website copy? Who is emailing your customer base? What kind of content are you putting out in your social media feeds? Once again, paying a non-professional person to write your ads, manage your social media and send out emails to customers is a critical error in judgement. No matter what your vehicle of communication, your messaging needs to be strategic and speak to the needs of your customers. Because this seems like a simple thing to do, many small businesses think that anyone can do it. Ultimately, they get it very wrong.

Maybe you are paying someone in your office who enjoys spending time on social media sites to manage all your social media and marketing communications efforts, and you think that’s a good idea because now you don’t have to think about it. The problem is, most people with no education in marketing communications or business, have no real idea what they are doing. Without a content strategy and messaging that speaks to the needs of your customers, you are not cultivating leads, or establishing your authority in your industry. That’s costly, not cost saving.

Check Your Data

If you really want to save money on marketing, check your data. See what’s working and what isn’t working and spend accordingly. There are many metrics that you could and should be tracking but Customer Acquisition Cost and ROI are critical. 

To calculate the cost of acquiring a new customer, add up all marketing expenses and divide by the number of new customers gained in a specific period. To calculate your marketing Return on Investment (ROI), compare the revenue generated from marketing efforts to the amount spent on those campaigns.

If nothing appears to be working all that well, then you know you are paying the wrong people to manage your marketing efforts. If you cannot find the data to measure your marketing, then you are definitely paying the wrong people to help you.

Professionals Save You Money!

Hiring a professional to mange your marketing programs is probably the most cost-effective thing you could do for your business. While the price may seem a bit steep in the beginning, the reality is, it costs you much more in missed opportunities to pay an amateur or to pay no one at all. 

The quality of your marketing efforts matters. Having a strategic marketing partner working alongside you to support the growth of your business means you are more likely to double or even triple your sales.

CMO On The Go is an excellent group of strategic marketing partners (Chief Marketing Officers) who work with small to midsized businesses on a part-time basis. They can coach your existing team, develop and implement marketing strategy, and achieve the results you want for your business.

What if you could just run your business and never have to worry about your marketing strategy? Imagine being able to confidently leave your marketing in the hands of experienced and affordable marketing professionals.

Here's your solution.

  • Hire a fractional (part-time) CMO through CMO On The GO. 

  • Save a ton of money.

  • Get the job done without having to manage a marketing team.

  • Facilitate a smooth transition from fractional CMO services to having an independent team aligned with your company's vision and objectives.

  • Get ongoing support only when needed.



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