It’s tough out there for marketers. In recent years, we’ve all been feeling the pinch. With fewer resources to work with and with increased scrutiny from leadership to show results, things have changed. It’s like our campaigns are being forced into Spanx. Long gone are the days when we had the luxury of deep pockets and being able to do things like they’ve always been done.

Now with more data to extract and measure, we’re expected to wring the most out of our budgets. The landscape might have changed, but we think this is a good thing. It forces us to be scrappy, and that makes things interesting.

No matter the budget, at the heart of any campaign is the foundation: the story, the strategy, consideration for your audience, and what problems you’re trying to solve. While it may be tempting for many to skip straight to the tactical execution of a campaign (who hasn’t been tempted to jump past persona building and just push out banner ads and social posts?), doing so can end up pushing foundational problems further down the road, sabotaging you, and wasting a lot of money later on when you find out the campaign needs to grow.

How do you craft an effective campaign to a midsized budget, then? Start with the foundation, then make it scalable.

When working with limited budget, many companies look to save money by skimping on the story or by throwing together a hastily-conceived tagline and passing it along to an agency to crank out a landing page, emails, and ads. Through our more than 16 years of experience at BuzzBee, we know that this rarely works out as well as clients might hope.

The answer to having a limited budget is not skipping crucial foundational strategic pieces like buyers’ journeys or persona building, but rather “rightsizing” them to fit your budget. Think of it as budget diversification—hitting all aspects of strategy, even if you only spend a modest amount on each, is going to strengthen your campaign and future campaigns more than if you spend everything on one piece.

The key to getting the most bang for your buck starts with having a solid plan and knowing how each piece of resulting content will be used and why. A lot of it is also being mindful of building a foundation and assets that can be repurposed for either scaling the campaign or even by other departments in a company (then you might even get to piggyback on other budgets!).

Having a midsized budget doesn’t have to mean compromising on results. You just have to start with a strong base, and avoid shortcuts, no matter how tempting they may be. As it turns out, Spanx can make your campaigns look damn good.