Have you been using the same old marketing tactics that you’ve been using since the founders of your company put them in place 40+ years ago? Or maybe you have changed things up a bit, but still haven’t seen a satisfying increase in sales, and you really aren’t sure if the marketing budget is being spent in a way that’s benefiting your company the way it could be.
Company A goes over to a big ad agency, one that has a fairly decent reputation and from what they’ve heard, fair pricing. Company A hasn’t had a great experience with marketing over the years and most of their business comes from word-of-mouth, so they’re ready for a good change and some new business. They sit down at the conference table, and are shown a presentation that includes everything ever imagined by a human brain, from print, radio, TV, and billboards, to charity events, trade shows, lead generation, and everything digital – social media platforms up the wazoo, directories (online and offline), SEO, SEM, branding, affiliate programs, internet radio and TV, on and on and on! The marketing firm said Company A would need it all to be successful; a “healthy mix”. You need to spend money to make money they said…
While this marketing company may have been right about that last statement, and a “healthy mix” is beneficial when executed properly, not every channel is always necessary depending on the industry and the target audience, and there is a balance that needs to be maintained. For small businesses making under $5 million a year, the SBA suggests 7-8% makes a “healthy” marketing budget, and larger companies often spend anywhere from 5-20%, depending on their net profit margin and competitiveness of the industry. More importantly, your customers aren’t everywhere all the time, and more than likely some of that hard earned money will not go to good use, spread out over so many different marketing avenues.
Bottom line: not ALL forms of marketing are right for all businesses. If you have a marketing company that sounds like the one above, either tell them no to the things that don’t seem to make sense to you, or grab your money and run (especially if you’re not seeing any sales improvements over the last year)!
So which marketing avenues are right for your business? Let’s answer some key questions first to give you a better idea:
- Where is your audience?: Firstly you must know who they are, and then you can find out where they are…
- Real World Marketing: where are they in the real world? Do your competitors have much success with print, TV or radio?
- Digital Marketing: Where are they online? Are they business or education oriented, spending more time on news websites, researching things on Google, or professional networking like LinkedIn? Or do they enjoy socializing on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, G+)? Do they read particular blogs, follow popular leaders in niches of a particular industry? Do they watch endless streams of YouTube videos, prefer TV shows or movies on Netflix, listen to internet radio while working, relaxing, or with friends?
If you’re not sure how to answer some of these questions, but that insight is something you’d really like to have, one method to collect this info is to send out customer surveys, or post one question surveys on your website or social media and see the responses you get. Going right to the source is always the best data. If you’d like to hear more about this, feel free to contact us!
Come back next week for the stats on what your competitors are doing now, and what the best ways are to take advantage of the most popular digital marketing platforms. Strategies and results will differ between a B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) company so we’ll cover some of each!
If you’re looking for an internet marketing agency, want to know more about brand marketing services, or maybe need some digital printing done, check out our website, or call us and we’d be happy to help you out!