Reaching your audience through a 30-second, $4.5 million Super Bowl ad may not be in your budget. Luckily there are many other, more affordable ways to make a connection.
For Budweiser, it may make sense to spend millions on a commercial about a horse and a dog so it can remind people it still sells beer. For the vast majority of brands that operate on tighter budgets, marketing efforts have to be more focused and targeted. Those brands need to rummage through the marketing PR bag of tricks.
Events, user-generated content, contests, earned media, open houses, op-eds, YouTube videos, white papers, Facebook fan pages, consumer summits and garage meet-ups are the stuff of marketing PR. They can be just as entertaining as ads, but cost far less and often have much longer retention value. Most important, they zero in on your audience.
Mass appeal gave way to targeted outreach some time ago. Now the premium is on building relationships with target audiences that provide useful information for consumers and stakeholders. Marketing PR has always been aimed at forging relationships and many of its techniques are designed to be useful as well as clever.
Advertising remains an important ingredient in marketing efforts, and it also has become more user-friendly. Ads can be targeted, consumers can help generate their content and editing and production can be accomplished on a laptop instead of requiring a studio.
So if your budget doesn't have a spare $4.5 million rattling around, don't despair. There are plenty of ways to get across your message to the people you want to hear it.