5 ways to make your marketing budget work harder.
In a follow up to the previous post, why most marketing campaigns don’t work we thought it would be good to share some of the ways money can be used to make your marketing budget go further.
1) Get a good understanding of your prospective customer.
You’d be surprised how many marketeers don’t understand their prospective customers. Without a good understanding of the customers needs, marketing efforts will be built on ‘gut-instinct’ or supposition. Sometimes shooting from the hip can be a real asset as you can easily over-analyse but it is far better for gut instinct to be confirmed by some research. A poor understanding of your customer or prospective could cause you to market to the wrong audience and distort the results of your campaign, creating interest from the wrong people and increase the overall cost of acquiring a sale / customer.
2) Making the buying process apart of your marketing strategy.
There are many different buying processes, all marketing should fit into this process or have a process to service enquiries and convert them into a sale. In some cases this is done as wholly online process, whereas others have mixed strategy. What plan is in place to handle new orders and enquiries? Can these be handled in a professional and timely fashion?
If you’re embarking upon a new customer acquisition campaign, it is likely they will want more detail than a returning customer. Is this information easily accessible? Does the prospective customer find it easy to obtain this information? These are all critical questions to securing your sales. A lack of accessible information can deter people from making an enquiry or placing an order.
3) Creativity with purpose.
Yes, sometimes creativity can be a waste of money. An agency (who shall remain nameless for legal reasons) once made a proposal to a client of ours for a new marketing campaign. It was slick, professional and well planned. However, there was some fundamental flaws in the proposal. They were too creative.
The concept a mouse sat on an elephant’s trunk. It was intended to symobilise new possibilities and making the impossible a reality. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The concept art was truly amazing. Our client, as a manufacturing business was confused, “are we the mouse or the elephant?” Having some reluctance the concept art was shown to some of their trusted customers. The feedback? None of them caught the symbolism, they either didn’t understand the relevance or thought it was a statement about their capability and their competitors.
Sometimes being too creative is an indulgence, creativity should be a tool for capturing attention to your offering, it should not take the stage itself (unless your a talented designer looking to get an award).
4) Getting to the point.
There is nothing worse than copy which does not get to the point. In times past solicitors and copywriters were paid by the word, so it was in their own interests to make documents as long as possible. Today, we are all pressured for time and ultimately want to know:
- What are you offering?
- What can it do for me?
- How much is it?
- When can I have it?
A little bit of sales pitch and boasting about your innovative approach or excellent customer service is good, but when there is more management jargon than substance it can be really annoying.
When someone lands on your website, watches your TV advert or receives any communication from you, it should be easy to understand exactly what you can offer. You have seconds to capture someones attention. Those view seconds are critical to gaining an enquiry, quote request or order. So please get to the point.
Here is an example…
“We offer bespoke and tailored solutions to help you drive sales and profitability”.
Question: – What do you do? How can you benefit me? Are you relevant? – “I’ll read it later”
This example could apply to a financial institution, card processing company, online shopping site or a marketing company.The jargon and waffle has created confusion and the wrong kind of questions.
Our strap line: “We help you grow your business through marketing”
Immediately people know what iMARVEL! does and who we do it for.
5) Monitor return on investment.
How many sales are you getting today from your marketing budget? Many would not know the answer, to be fair, sometimes the answer is hard to calculate as marketing done well can repay itself over long periods of time. As an example direct mail has been known to generate orders and leads 3 and 6 months after posting, where as online generally has a much shorter response cycle. The important thing is to have a system in place to record and track performance of campaigns.
ROI is a good way to bring accountability to your marketing costs and will inform you of what is effective.