There are two scenarios where budgeting for marketing is particularly complicated. These are when you're still planning your first campaign, and when you've decided to scale back after getting some good results.

The latter may be the worst — you have evidence that your tactics are effective, after all, so it's reasonable to worry that paring them back will compromise your progress.

With this in mind, here are four things to consider when looking at cutting your marketing spend:

1. You can prioritise marketing work with lasting effects

PPC marketing is reliably effective, but it doesn't have effects that extend beyond its budgeting. You can maintain a hefty PPC campaign cost for a long time and see a healthy ROI for every day it runs, but the moment you cancel it, that traffic will cease to exist.

That's why PPC isn't a good idea for a business that wants to avoid spending on marketing — despite its clear benefits. However, there are many forms of marketing that have lasting effects — most notably, those that target SEO.

Content marketing, for instance, can achieve rankings that persist for months — or even years — after content has been produced. Even in competitive niches, you'll find top Google results that date back almost a decade.

If you make a commitment to winning some great rankings, you can solidify the impact of your marketing work and establish a solid position that will keep you picking up traffic, even after you've lessened your spending.

2. Loyal customers can keep you going

Customer loyalty pays off — that much is unarguable. If you can impress a customer to the point that they form an emotional connection to your brand, they’ll prove 306% more valuable to you. It's also relatively easy to market to loyal customers because they'll seek out your updates and view them positively by default.

You should make earning loyalty a core pursuit of your business, which concentrates on providing a superlative support service, telling a great brand story and listening attentively to feedback. With this, you can not only continue to pick up sales fairly easily but also benefit from having numerous brand ambassadors willing to endorse your business to their friends and family members.

Amazon doesn't need to do any marketing at all. It's considered the default option as far as e-commerce convenience goes. You're not going to reach Amazon's level, of course, but it remains true that the stronger your reputation gets, the less you need to market.

3. You can save money elsewhere

We're talking about cutting your marketing budget, but not about how heavily. This is very important. The average budget can be trimmed somewhat without causing too much damage, but if you lower the budget past a certain point, it will seriously undermine the efficacy of the campaign. It's far better to cut costs somewhat and then save money elsewhere.

The business world is full of budgets that can be lowered. You can spend less on food for the office, shop around for cheaper prices on electronics and cut your energy use.

You should also think about your time budget because your time is valuable. Payroll automation can be handy for this, saving you from having to manually figure out employee payments. And then there's the prospect of using virtual assistants to keep your schedule in line.

By saving money where you can in your daily operation, as well as using some of that saved money to pay for tools and services to save you time, you can end up getting ahead both financially and logistically — all without needing to cut too heavily into your marketing budget.

4. Keep adjusting your budget

Lastly, something that you need to remember is that a budget isn't set in stone. If it were, you wouldn't be able to cut it, after all. You probably created the budget in the first place, and now you wish to trim it.

At some point down the line, you might want to expand it again. This is entirely normal. It makes little sense to make a strong commitment to a budget and stick to it for years when other factors are changing.

While this feels like a monumental decision, remember that it won't be disastrous even if the decrease in your marketing budget does negatively affect your sales. You can simply adjust your budget accordingly until you find a suitable figure. Provided you save enough money to keep things going for a while if leads dry up, you'll be fine.

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*Image courtesy of Max Pixel