How to Reduce Waste and Cut Your Marketing Budget Without Losing Customers

  • Date Published
  • Categories Blog
  • Reading Time 6-Minute Read

Reducing marketing costs in a business can come as a double-edged sword. Here is how to cut your marketing budget without losing customers.

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has left many businesses in survival mode. In these tough times, businesses are having to either cut staff or reduce spending. Your marketing budget is no different. However, unlike other departments, reducing the marketing budget can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, while cost-cutting can create savings, the budget cuts in the marketing department can negatively impact sales and revenue.

As we adjust to this new normal, not just in our lives but also at work, we need to figure out ways to keep sales afloat while working on a diminishing budget. Here are 8 pointers on how to reduce your costs are remove redundancies you should follow if you want to keep your marketing engines running at full steam and maintain sales.

Looking for a digital agency? Post a Project

Audit Your Marketing Expenditure

Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying if given 6 hours to chop a tree “I will use 4 hours to sharpen my ax”. This states the importance of preparation before taking on a task.

Before you start slashing your budget and creating new plans audit your current expenses. Find out how you are currently spending money and the returns on investments on the expenditure. At the end of your audit, you should have a full understanding of where you’re money is going, which campaign efforts get the best result, which activities you can do without, and which ones you must have.

Eliminate Your Lowest Performers

This is equally applicable to your staff as well as marketing channels. Any cost-cutting measures should start from the bottom up. Speak to your teams to figure out which channels haven’t been performing well and are a luxury to have at the moment. Target to reduce 20% of your budget by letting these low performers go.

Focus on Loyal Customers

Acquiring new customers can be expensive and with the recession settling in, people are holding ever so tightly to their cash. It is likely that most of the business you might see during this situation is from existing customers who are loyal to the brand.

Focus your attention and marketing expenditure on keeping these customers and selling them to them whenever you can.

Start Automating Processes

You might have to make hard decisions during this pandemic. This may including laying off some employees. In their absence, some of their tasks might not be taken care of. Try automating these tasks to ensure that you can do just as much with a smaller team.

Here are some jobs that can be automated:


Email automation is a great way to reduce pressure on your employees. You can create templates for certain emails that can be automatically sent to customers. Read this guide on how to personalize automated emails for a better understanding.

A list of emails that can be automated:

  • Welcome Email
  • Birthday, Anniversary and Special Holidays Email
  • Monthly Newsletter
  • Email Followups
  • Thank you Email

 Lead Generation

Automate lead generation by using Zapier. You can take your leads from CRM, Facebook ads and Websites and feed it to an excel spreadsheet automatically by using Zapier’s integration tools. This can save you a lot of time if you were manually transferring leads from various sources into spreadsheets and email lists.

Strategically Outsource Jobs

Outsourcing is a great way to reduce costs and have a flexible team of talents on-demand. In these uncertain times, you can look into countries in South Asia like India, China, and Bangladesh to outsource certain tasks.

If you’re new to outsourcing then read this guide on How to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency in Bangladesh.

But more importantly, it is important to understand which jobs to outsourcing. Your ideal outsourcing partners should be someone who compliments your weaknesses by supplementing it with their strengths. If you have a strong graphics department, but no copywriters, then hire freelance writers who can get the job done.

Additionally, you’re working with expensive vendors, try outsourcing to a company outside of your country. If you’ve done your research properly, you are likely to find talents who can deliver the same work for cheaper prices.

Switch to Free Tools

If you’re a tech-savvy marketer, then digital marketing tools can rack up costs very quickly. Fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives to your expensive but cutting-edge software that can get the job done.

Here is a list of free tools you can use to replace your current technical stack:

  • Small SEO tools for finding keywords, checking plagiarism, and detecting backlinks.
  • Facebook Creator Studio for scheduling posts, inbox management, and managing multiple social media accounts.
  • Canva can help you design Facebook ads, banners, and carousels.
  • Social Mention is a great tool to find out what people are saying about you on the internet.
  • Pexels is a great resource for free stock photos that don’t look like stock photos.

Create Strong PR Alliances

Chances are you are not the only business that is going through a budget cut. There are plenty of marketing departments who have seen their budgets slashed and are thirsty for brand exposure. Use this opportunity to strike up conversations and create collaboration plans.

You can host fellow business owners in the community for an interview and live stream session. Ask your guests to share it on their social media platforms and enjoy the extra exposure from their audience base. Similarly, you should volunteer to come to other people’s live streams and talk about your business to their fans.


A lower marketing budget is not end-all of your marketing efforts. Even though you might need to tighten your belts momentarily, there is no reason to believe that your marketing campaigns have to be less effective.  In this time of crisis, we all need to be a bit more creative and a lot more hardworking. This means finding new ways to do old things and doing things that we were reluctant to do before.