Everyone knows the saying ‘you have to spend money to make money’, but the return-on-investment formula is not always easy to work out.
Generally speaking, it’s suggested you allocate 3-5% of your business’s gross revenue to marketing, however there are many contributing factors when deciding on your budget — most importantly it needs to align with your business’s marketing goals. If you’re looking to double your sales within five years or to expand your audience from regional to a national, your marketing budget needs to reflect this expectation.
An even bigger question once the budget is set is where you invest this marketing spend. Should I be playing in the social media space, do I need PR or do I need to be speaking to my clients more directly? How do I leverage the most out of the marketing dollars I am spending?
Here’s a ‘Fresh’ perspective on what to consider when you’re ready to invest in marketing.
- Not one size fits all
So… you have set some measurable marketing goals and now you’re ready to work out how to achieve them. What’s the most cost-effective way to connect with your identified target audiences?
Depending on how you think your potential customers will find you, your product or service might be suited to traditional media like print or TV. However, if you’re only looking to speak to an audience within your immediate suburb, then perhaps a geographically targeted digital campaign or even a simple letterbox drop can reap great rewards.
It also depends on where you are in your business lifecycle — if you’re starting out, you may need to spend your dollars on setting up strong marketing foundations. However, if your business has been operating for a while, your marketing tools may be a little rusty – they might have served you well to start, but since then you’ve been kicking awesome goals and you haven’t been telling those who matter most!
- Meaningful marketing
To connect with your customers, it’s important to be authentic and to know who you are selling to.
Spend some time really understanding your customers… what keeps them up at night, what problems do they have, and how can you help to solve them.
Where do they consume information, who do they trust for referrals and how do they search for you? If you can answer these questions and find the trigger that makes people commit to buying from you, then that’s where you need to direct your budget.
- Managing your own marketing
It’s certainly possible to do all your own marketing but it does require time, desire and a reasonable understanding of what can be done and at what cost.
It’s also important to consider that if coordinating your marketing takes 30% of your time, that’s time you could use to further develop your product or service. So, perhaps outsourcing this task allows you to stay laser-focused on what your business does best.
Marketing is like golf. If you know what you are doing, you’re very likely to hit a great shot — you could even get a hole in one! But, if you don’t know what you are doing, you’ll probably end up nowhere near the hole, and worse, you might hit someone with the ball!
Having an experienced golfer on your team who can help you navigate the unexpected cross winds, bunkers and water hazards is going to give you a much bigger advantage over your competitors.
- Clear business goals
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to spend on your marketing, it’s equally important to clearly articulate what it is you want to achieve.
Good marketing outcomes are measurable and align with your business goals — what do you really want and within what timeframe are you hoping to get there. And, very importantly, is the business geared up to deal with the influx of leads your marketing will generate?
So, if you have clear business goals, an allocated budget and you’re open to fresh ideas, then you’re probably ready to seek support. First step, is to find a marketing expert that gets you! They can then find the best approach for your business, working within your budget and achieving the outcomes you need.
Ready for some marketing help? Reach out to our team to have a chat for our ‘Fresh’ perspective!