Blood from Turnips: Three Budget-Friendly Marketing Programs that Work


Having worked with small and medium sized organizations most of my career (including a few of my own), I know that marketing budgets are never big enough. Yet, no one ever says “can you reduce my lead flow?”

Here are three tried and true programs for building your TOFu (Top Of Funnel). 

Fun fact: I once worked for a CEO who cut my marketing budget by 50%, then insisted I deliver more new business leads than the year before. I explained that “I don’t know how to do that magic trick,” and that in fact it would take double the past year’s budget to grow as projected.  He soon disappeared.

Here are three programs for a short-, mid- and long-range marketing cycle to fill your funnel, regardless of your budget.

#1. The Quick Hit:

Deliver short, impactful webinars on current topics by a speaker who is an authority. Pain point resolution is always popular.

  • Use caution when selecting ideal titles for the subject. Resist the temptation to cast a wider net than you should. I.e., if your session applies to CFOs, don’t succumb to including IT as well. Rather, give them their own session written in their “language”.
  • Leave them with a “right away take away”: A hack, a list, a resource. Use your follow-up email to include an additional value-add as a breadcrumb back to you (related blog post, next webinar, product info).

#2. The Deep Dive: 90 days

Interview a client, write their business case, then multi-market the content with a good CTA.

  • Publish a summary as a blog post; post a Facebook ad with a link; Podcast it;
  • Add the downloadable version to your website as page content as well as a link, for maximum SEO affect
  • Use as follow-up email content for lead nurturing.
  • Turn it into a webinar for a Quick Hit.

#3: Segmentation Domination: 9-12 months

Incorporate all of the above and apply it to a SINGLE market segment. Determine to own that segment and be the authority/thought leader/expert within that attainable universe.

  • Create a landing page just for that segment with fully optimized content
  • Speak at every applicable event you can find throughout the year
  • Blog about this segment regularly, including Commenting on related blogs
  • Create and maintain a library of high-value content, then schedule, publish and leverage it across all channels
  • Use LinkedIn to full advantage, including posting and group participation with links back to your landing page

The challenge will be resisting the temptation to apply these tactics to all of your other market segments at the same time. But resist you must. This method requires your complete attention, while you continue low level maintenance on your other segments.  However, you will see your authority level rise (watch your likes, reposts and subscriber base), and your leads increase (only form fills as conversions) accordingly. Make sure your sales and marketing toolkits are in sync with the latest content and collaterals, and your sales team become [your product here] subject matter experts for that segment.

Fun fact: My last Segmentation Domination plan was a nine-month march to the top of a healthcare segment IT, resulting in a 40% increase to our top line revenue. 

There is a lot that goes into executing these three programs. Planning is key, and distractions can throw you off easily. I always find it helpful to have the milestones and dates written on my wall (yes, there is clear “white board” paint that works great!!) where I can focus each morning and stay on task.

I’ve had success – both significant and incremental – every time I’ve implemented one of these programs. I’d like to hear from you when you’ve tried one out. Be creative – make it your own!

“Perfection is the enemy of execution.” – Unknown marketer. And also, my husband.

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