60% Co-op Reimbursement – Now What?

The New Year always brings about big changes and challenges, and this year is no different, especially with DISH’s co-op reimbursement percentage change from 80% to 60% already in place. Don’t panic! We’ve got the team to guide you with a few tips to  change your advertising focus from volume to value.

When thinking about your advertising budget, quality, not quantity, is what you’re looking for. Take a deep breath and really think about where you spend your advertising dollars: Which mediums are working for you and which ones aren’t? Are you doing any advertising just because it’s inexpensive, even though it may be ineffective? Now is the time to scrutinize your marketing plan, eliminate the part of the plan that is not working, and get creative to spend your advertising budget in the areas where it’s the most effective.

Review your Marketing Plan

When analyzing your current advertising budget, you can place your initiatives in one of two categories: those you spend money on and those that make your business money. If the majority of your leads are coming from one or two advertising tactics, but you have three or four total, then you need to shift your money to the mediums where you’re actually getting a return on your investment. Stop spending in the areas where you are not. Just because your out-of-pocket expense per initiative is going to increase doesn’t mean that your total budget has to.

Cut the Fat

Once you have identified the mediums that aren’t bringing in quality leads, you need to pull those ads as soon as possible. If you have gotten in the habit of advertising in ways that aren’t the most effective, make it your resolution to focus the money on other avenues that can make your business better. Even if the advertising is cheap, it’s still money wasted if it’s not bringing in customers and it is money better spent elsewhere. Now that you’ll be responsible for paying 40% of the total cost on any advertising initiative, you really need to focus on getting the best value for that money and only advertise where you are seeing results.
Get Creative
With a higher investment for advertising on your end, you want to look for every value-add opportunity you can. See if your radio station or newspaper will give you a better rate if you commit to a larger number of advertisements. Is there a discount for running on certain days of the week? Many newspapers will include a web ad at no additional charge when you buy a print ad. It’s ok to be shameless in asking your vendors for discounts or bundles– the worst they can do is say no, right? Don’t forget to look into opportunities for free advertising, too. Get those social media pages in shape, start a blog, or send out a newsletter to current and prospective customers. You could even try bartering or trading advertising. Ask a popular local business if you can hang a banner in their store or place some business cards at the counter in exchange for the same at your business. Networking and word of mouth will always remain powerful advertising tools.
It’s certainly going to be an adjustment switching over to a lower reimbursement percentage, but if you sit down and take the time to analyze your business’s marketing plan and think outside the box a little, you can make it work without breaking your advertising budget.

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