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Where to spend your marketing budget

The forms of marketing you simply can’t ignore

In the not so distant past, marketing was a relatively simple affair – fairly black and white with limited options on where to spend your budget. In the main, radio and television reigned supreme with newspapers, billboards, flyers, and the like being used for supplemental advertising. 

The emergence of the internet changed things dramatically. These days, with so much consumer time being spent online, there is no end of options available in terms of ways to promote your company. 

While most marketing relies on relatively similar underlying techniques, their success rate varies tremendously from company to company. Moreover, the internet has made the world considerably smaller – while audiences have become significantly smarter – so the vehicle you choose and the methods you use are now more critical than ever. 

Know your product and study your market

The best way to choose the right promotions channels for your company is to consider your product and closely study the habits of your market. What you sell and the people you sell it to will significantly affect the way you promote yourself. 

For example – in its crudest form – it’s very obvious the tactics you might use to sell to an older generation would not apply to a younger market. The same applies in reverse. As a first step, take a close look at your industry and understand your primary market.

Eliminate existing waste

Before looking at where to spend your future marketing budget, it’s often a good idea to first consider where your previous marketing money was spent and work out the relative worth of each area. 

In many cases, companies continue to use expensive monitoring software or have ongoing subscriptions for services, which often simply do not provide a Return on Investment (ROI). Common examples include recurring advertising, search engine optimization services (poorly organized campaigns that might be having little effect on your web traffic), or ongoing web maintenance fees. 

Wherever you see an outlay that isn’t generating an identifiable advantage or revenue, cut the expense and drop the service. By first eliminating waste, you’re more likely to start seeing a profit from your investment in marketing. 

The eight primary marketing tools

There is a myriad of different marketing techniques available in the modern age; however, in the main, they tend to fall within eight categories.

Though it’s possible to attempt all these types of marketing on your own, in most cases, it’s a good idea to approach a specialist agency like Digital Strike – Targeted Marketing to see the best results. These dedicated companies can handle all aspects of your business marketing with aplomb, freeing up your time to concentrate on generating sales. 

Branding

Branding can theoretically encompass everything within this list; however, as a concept, it is loosely defined as the process by which a company creates a name, a design, or a symbol that is easily identifiable as being owned by that company. 

The critical advantage of branding is it distinguishes your company and places it indelibly in the minds of your consumers.

Branding is essential because it improves company recognition, increases your business value, generates new customers, and instills a sense of pride and satisfaction in your staff. 

Successful branding will carry through every piece of direct and indirect marketing your company produces – from your on- and off-line advertising to print materials, business cards, letterheads, and emails. Strong branding is at the core of all successful companies and should not be ignored.

If the budget allows it, consider looking at refreshing your business cards and letterhead – perhaps even look at refreshing your logo if it’s starting to look tired. Try to take an impartial step back from your company to see what needs to be improved. 

Email lists and newsletters

Email marketing has become very popular over the last few years with mailshot services, mailing lists, and email newsletters. The success of mail campaigns will depend largely on your market sector and, in particular, the age group of your consumers. Most younger consumers tend to look to social media rather than signing up for mailing lists. 

Events marketing

Events marketing can cover anything from being an exhibitor at a trade show to holding corporate events at your company building. Trade events tend to be particularly successful in specialized industries (e.g., the oil and gas sector, healthcare, etc.) as a way to meet other industry professionals and build client networks. 

Public relations

The world of public relations has changed dramatically over the years, and these days the title can encompass any media that is produced on behalf of a company. This can range from social media to news releases and press statements. 

Unless you are a more prominent company, having a dedicated PR budget probably isn’t one of the main marketing areas you need to consider – apart from in crisis management.

Print advertising

The print industry is struggling compared to vastly more economical online publications; however, magazines, newspapers, and trade publications still persevere. If your company has paid for print advertising over recent times, check the success of any campaigns to see if they generated a spike in business. 

Print advertising is almost always more expensive than advertising in online publications, so weigh the figures up and choose accordingly. 

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Of all the areas mentioned in this list, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is possibly the most important. The practice of SEO has the potential to push more traffic to your website and generate more new business than anything else you can do. Indeed, good SEO can expand your operations into previously untapped sectors or geographic areas. It should not be underestimated.

Good SEO encompasses everything from optimizing your website to generating inbound links and even producing quality keyword-laden content for your site. 

Website development and improvements

Over the last few months, Coronavirus has changed many things in our lives, but possibly the most significant change has been the increasing move to working online by both companies and staff. With so many people now working from home, your internet presence is more important than ever – as is your provision for video calling and file sharing.

Depending on how your network is set up, your website may be integral to the way your staff works online collaboratively. Alternatively, if you run an e-commerce business, you will have undoubtedly noticed a spike in online sales over the last few months, making your website more important than ever. 

Along with SEO, developing your website is the best money you can spend right now.

Social media

While it is often tempting to consider social media just the plaything of bored adolescents, in a business sense, it can be your most excellent promotional tool. If done right, content produced for social media can spread virally, promoting your company far and wide – and at a fraction of the cost of any other type of advertising. 

The key to promoting any company is to identify how you relate and interact with your market. By having a greater understanding of this relationship, you will be able to better prioritize your marketing and promotions budget and use the money to maximum effect.