Business Insights

Business Insights

You’ve got £100 to spend on marketing. What do you do with it?

If someone came to The Marketing Centre and asked us what marketing they should do with £100, we’d tell them they were asking a trick question.

Effective marketing is strategic, not tactical, we’d say, and we’d have to have a good idea about their business’ goals, situation and marketplace before we could even contemplate our recommended tactic. And we’d still be reluctant to answer the question, even then, because a marketing budget should follow a business’ marketing strategy, not come before it.

Secretly, however, we’d let the problem rattle around our minds. So we asked our proven part-time Marketing Directors what they would do with their £100. Hypothetically, of course.

Spirit of the Season

Julie Strawson, Southern Counties

“With my last £100, I’d ask my closest clients if they would call one of my top prospects and tell them what I’d achieved for their business. In return, I’d offer a donation to the charity of their choice, calculated as a percentage of the margin we’d earn if the sale closes. Everybody wins!”

Insight: Referred customers have been shown to be more loyal and generate up to 25% higher profit margins (AMA Journal of Marketing)

Pennies for Positivity

Mark Pearson, Eastern Counties

“I’d do something similar to Julie, and ask my staff to follow up every customer service interaction with the question: ‘Out of 10, how far did we meet your expectations today?’ For every score of 10/10, I’d have the business donate £1 to a homeless charity. A great company will smash their £100 target – the best possible reason to overspend on marketing, while also delivering an improved customer experience that should, in turn, drive more business.”

Insight: 87% of us would be encouraged to purchase a product after learning that a business advocated for an issue we care about (Cone CSR Study)

The Gift of Giving

David Abbott, Yorkshire & Lancashire

“For a B2B business, I’d spend my £100 on booking a meeting room for an afternoon. I’d invite 5–10 of my best quality, non-competing suppliers in the same marketplace and spend a few hours sharing leads. Then I’d finish the session by making personal introductions for each other to the shared prospects.”

Insight: Referrals influence up to 50% of all purchase decisions (McKinsey)

Art (or Something Like It)

Alex Swann, Home Counties

“I’d give a smile and commission an industry-specific cartoon for my business. Marketoonist might (would) be outside the £100 price bracket, but a quality idea has the power to go viral quickly, as this one did last month. There are plenty of talented artists online – just be sure to provide a focused brief!”

Insight: Data indicates that including a cartoon in email campaigns doubles their open rate (Salesforce)

A Gentle Reminder

Robert Stead, Southern Counties

“An A3 poster reading: ‘If there is no change, there will be no change’. If a company wants to boost their performance, they must do things differently and grow in thought and action. You can’t do the same thing and expect a different result!

Insight: Change management is tough – with up to 70% of business change management programs failing due to employee resistance and lack of management support (McKinsey)

Education, Education, Education

Yana Lapitskaya, London

“If I only had £100 to invest, I’d buy the business books that have been on my reading list for too long, and make time to get through them this Christmas. That list includes Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour by Blair Ennis; Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne; The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, and Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. I bought the latter last Christmas and haven't yet got around to it!”

Insight: Leaders are readers. Warren Buffet famously read between 600 and 1000 pages every day at the start of his career; Bill Gates reads more than 50 books every year.

An Umbrella

Michael Stewart, Yorkshire & Lancashire

“My first thought? I’d spend the £100 on designing and printing a really great promotional umbrella. After all, we can’t have another summer like last year – and if we do, it can work as a sun shade! My serious answer: I’d commission high-quality business cards for networking events or graphics for my car.

Insight: In busy pedestrianised areas, vehicles can be seen by up to 3,000 customers every hour (3M)

So there you have it; 7 (purely hypothetical) marketing campaigns and tactics for less than the cost of a meal in London. Got your own ideas for a £100 marketing plan? Tell us on Twitter, @MarketingCentr.

Find out where to make the maximum marketing impact in your business, with our free Marketing 360 healthcheck.


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Written by Clare Methven

Clare Methven is the Co-Founder of The Marketing Centre and specialises in working with small and mid-size businesses. She has over 25 years’ experience working in PR and marketing agencies focussed on construction, financial services and travel companies.

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