Marketing is a creative medium. Its function is the same as the old-time carnival barker, who calls out for the public's attention with a brassy voice attention, but it's different, too. It has class because it can be clever, even amusing. 

Unfortunately, creativity costs money, which can limit your marketing. 

If, for instance, you want to use color in your poster, then you must pay more than if you simply used black-and-white. This difference, of course,  is that color will grab much more attention. 

Or, if you want the words on your sales page to trigger a visceral positive response, then you'd be better off hiring an experienced copywriter, someone with years of experience as a wordsmith--because your results will be far better than coming up with something off the top of your head that turns out to be over the top.

So how do you keep costs down while still keeping your marketing creative, fun, and engaging? The problem may not be as formidable as you think. Here are some solutions:

1. Print your own materials.

A sublimation printer can do wonders for your printed material. It's a computer that uses heat to transfer a dye on all sorts of materials--fabrics, card papers, plastics. Investing in one will help keep you stop paying a printer's bill when you set up your booth at a trade show. 

If your business model happens to thrive on participating in trade shows, conferences, and county fairs, where talking to people directly makes your financial profits chart look like the illustration of a rocket launch, then you will save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every time you set up a booth, by doing your own printing. What's more, you can customize each poster (or other promotional material) for each exhibit instead of trying to get away with using old posters from previous shows.

2. Invest in skills.

Much of your marketing costs come from hiring people who know what they are doing. Copywriters. Content writers. Graphic artists. Website designers. These are the skilled craftsmen honored by marketers. 

Let's suppose you need a landing page for your latest offer. You could simply use a template and customize it to the best of your ability--or you could hire experts to make it a work of art, with attention-grabbing cartoons and clever words to tempt readers to sign up for your must-have ethical bribe.  The difference between something you cobble up yourself and something that you outsource to an expert can add thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars, to your bottom line. 

But is there a way to get similar results without the high cost? Absolutely. Spend the money necessary to train a staffer to learn the art and craft of the expert whose work you value. For example, it may take a year of classes, to turn your personal assistant into a copywriter, but if he or she is eager to learn, then it's a win-win situation. They get a chance to raise their income while still retaining the security of their job...and you get the services of an in-house copywriter for years to come to build your brand.

3. Research AI.

It's common knowledge now that artificial intelligence can often outsmart human beings when it comes to processing billions of bits of data and converting them into algorithms that humans can use to influence markets. Is it possible that some of the work that you do as a marketer can be automated to yield far greater results than you're currently getting? Naturally, you may have to speak to a few experts in machine learning to get the answers, but you may be surprised at how much more is possible than you ever imagined.

Putting it all together, what can we conclude? Good marketing is expensive because it's a perfect storm of clever people coming up with remarkable ideas that need to be presented in an eye-catching way to rise above the marketing noise. 

While a short-term win is to simply hire out all the resources you need for a marketing campaign, you could save money in the long run if you took a long-term view of things. So, for example, instead of using the services of a printing firm, buy your own printer; or, instead of hiring a copywriter (or graphic artist or content writer, etc) train your own people to acquire these skills by enrolling them in classes for six months to a year.

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