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Maximising your Marketing Budget
dms CREATiVE director Kym Ebenestelli recently presented a hotly anticipated webinar on making the most of your marketing budget. It's such an important issue to be thinking about at the moment, with end-of-financial-year looming and many businesses looking to set their marketing budgets for 2015-16. Check out Kym's tips, tricks and marketing priorities for maximising your investment, as well as the link to the webinar below.
1. Work out what it is you want to achieve.
When setting your marketing budget, the first question you need to ask yourself is what is it that you want to achieve? Are you wanting a larger slice of the pie? Are you wanting to make the pie bigger? Or are you trying to protect your existing slice of the pie from an aggressive competitor?
Maybe your focus is attracting new clients or maintaining relationships with existing clientele. Or perhaps you need to generate more leads or foot traffic.
The more detailed and specific you can be, the easier it is to build a plan to help you achieve your goal.
At this point it is also really useful to think about and define which target audience suits each of your products. Think about your customers’ pain points and how your product/s solves their pain. Critically analyse the real opportunities that exists for each product and start to assign some priorities.
2. Write down what you need to do to achieve your sales goals
Once you have identified and articulated your marketing problem, you can begin to solve it.
If your focus is attracting new customers, marketing theory tells us that potential targets need to come in contact with your brand approximately seven times before they feel comfortable doing business with you.
That said, it is crucial that your consumer touchpoints (shopfront, sign, advertising, marketing collateral, website, tender documents, LinkedIn profile etc) are consistent, relevant and evidence who you are and what you do. Remember, every time a potential customer comes in contact with your brand they are subconsciously judging you and making observations.
Then, when they search your product offering on the net, you need to appear high up in the organic or Adwords search results to have a better chance of them clicking on your website link. Then, once they are on your website you have on average less than 1.5 seconds to engage with them. You need to make sure your content is strong and engaging to give the best possible first impression.
3. Work out how much it is going to cost
You need to get quotes, ask questions and find out the best way to do things. Once you see how much it is going to cost, you then compare this investment with the return you are hoping to achieve and see if this is something you are comfortable with. This approach is very different to simply assigning a percentage of turnover to marketing.
4. Measure your results
Ensure you measure your promotions and campaigns. Marketing should be viewed as an investment you make in your business. And, as with all investments, you need to see a return. However, be sensible in your approach. As with all investments, it is not reasonable to expect to see immediate growth – especially if there is a lengthy sales cycle.
5. Avoid ways to waste money
One of the most frustrating things that I deal with is when we build a plan with a customer and then they want to analyse each individual piece of the puzzle in isolation. To pull a plan apart and only run one specific individual component will give you a false reading on the effectiveness of the overall campaign and can also significantly weaken your expected reach and frequency.
Another money trap people can fall into is when they start to suffer brand fatigue. This is when business owners or staff who see their brand everyday start to think it is getting tired and boring and needs a freshen-up. Remember, your customers don’t see your brand every day. There can be a lot of reassurance for someone looking at a trusted brand – one they recognise. That said, there are a number of legitimate times that brands can and should be updated, particularly when it comes to issues around market positioning. But it should never be just because you are getting bored.
One of the biggest mistakes in marketing is inconsistency of brand. As I mentioned before, it is really important that each consumer touchpoint is consistent from a brand perspective. That means using the same colours, the same logos, the same brand voice in all of your communications. The repetition of your brand in the market place is what helps customers become more aware of you and your product and it is that familiarity that helps them feel more comfortable buying from you.
6. Be strategic, know your limitations and invest in professional services
When you have a plan and know exactly what you want to achieve, it is much easier to work towards achieving it. You can also maximise your marketing budget by knowing you limitations. If you don’t have the skills or the time to create a professional and polished brand for your business, then you should engage the services of a professional marketing and design company, just as you would engage a lawyer to help with legal matters or an accountant to help with your tax.
7. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and be deliberate and consistent
Conduct a mini audit of all the ways customers come into contact with your brand. Be objective and look at whether they would be seeing a consistent brand. And finally, be deliberate and consistent in all that you do. Stay focused and don’t become distracted. Set yourself monthly targets and constantly check your progress. And stay accountable.