The importance of having a well-thought-out marketing plan cannot be underestimated today. Having a fantastic product won’t get you very far if nobody knows about it.
However, overspending on ineffective marketing opportunities is a sure-fire way to send your business on a course of destruction.
It is all about getting the balance right and finding the best ways to harvest major results from modest means.
Keeping that in mind, read on to discover some top tips for planning and managing your marketing spend.
- Plan the budget – There is only one place to begin, and this is with having a solid plan for your marketing budget. You need to sit down and assess your finances to determine how much money your business can comfortably afford to spend on marketing. It may be that you cannot afford to attribute any money to marketing at present, and that is fine, so long as you recognize this and focus on free advertising methods with an ROI so that you can then re-invest this for greater results.
- Make your own infographics – A common marketing issues that a lot of businesses have is determining how to promote a single service or product to a variety of diverse and small markets. You may offer great value to these dissimilar markets, but you cannot afford to craft an individual campaign for every one of them. If this sounds familiar, one of the best options is to create your own infographics. Infographics can address multiple markets or parties at once, they are extremely cheap to create, and they are easy to share too.
- Consider full-service solutions – If you are planning to outsource your company’s marketing activities, it’s better to find one company to handle everything. Full-service ecommerce solutions are a lot easier to manage and deal with, as you will only be communicating with one business and you won’t need to organize campaigns between numerous parties. It will also be a lot cheaper too. Costs can quickly mount up when you have a variety of marketing bills to pay.
- Target, target, target! – One sure-fire way to completely rinse your budget is to market with a fire hose. Instead, you need to target your campaigns, ensuring better quality leads and an improved ROI. Social media platforms like Facebook are great for incredibly specific targeting.
- Keep hidden costs in check – You may have the most detailed spreadsheet in the history of marketing. However, if you do not put all of the information required onto this spreadsheet, you will be heading for a real scare at the end of the quarter. You need to remember that your marketing campaign is going to incur more expenses than promotional events and product launches. Don’t overlook PPC costs or software subscriptions. Everything adds up, so don’t leave any costs out.
- Be realistic – It is vital to understand that most companies spend roughly 10 percent of their revenue on marketing. If you are spending less on advertising, you probably fit into one of two categories. Firstly, you may be spending too much money in other departments to justify spending more on advertising. Secondly, you have limited revenue, which means that even 10 percent is not getting you very far. You may need to start and look at how you can make efficiencies in other areas of your business so that you can free up more funds to spend on marketing.
- Use unique branding to sidestep the competition – As mentioned in the former point, not every business has the money available to fund an expensive marketing campaign. However, you can produce big results without having to face direct competition with bigger budgets if you get creative with the tools you have at hand. If you have major competition in your way, and you cannot match them in terms of budget, you need to start being creative from the ground up. For example, to give your brand a presence, why not find a unique domain name?
- Ensure your data is well organized – It is simply impossible to craft a successful marketing strategy if you do not have ample consumer data. Now would be a good time to gather the data you need and to organize it effectively. You will also need to develop some standard metrics so you can determine what marketing approaches are the most successful. This is something you should be constantly revisiting so you can determine what campaigns are harvesting the best results per conversion, per market.