Let’s face facts – if you want to grow your business, you need to invest in marketing. Without the right advertising and promotion, there is no way that you can increase your market share and build profits over time. Unfortunately, for many companies, marketing is a significantly neglected component of their overall business model. I’ve seen some small businesses trying to grow with a 5% of gross operating budget… but I digress.
We want to help organizations that want to empower growth to do just that without the cycle of marketing neglect, overwork and under-spend where many business owners find themselves. In this article, we’ll go over various ways to make sure that your marketing plans are kept to a higher standard. Think of a campaign like a child – it requires a substantial investment of time, money, and energy to raise it properly. Just as you wouldn’t expect a baby to take care of itself, you can’t expect your marketing to work on its own.
Core Components of Raising a Well-Adjusted Marketing Campaign
Guiding Your Marketing to Adulthood
You’re likely already familiar with many of the pieces of advertising and marketing. Both traditional and digital alternatives abound, from social media and email to business cards and banners. However, buying a bunch of promotional materials without any kind of overarching goal is a bad idea. Think of it like buying a bunch of toys for your child – chances are that your kid will like some of them and ignore the rest. So, you want to keep buying the ones that get used, rather than wasting money on those that collect dust.
When talking about guidance for your marketing campaign, here are some tips to help you stay on track.
Create Quantifiable Goals
It’s not enough to say, “I want higher sales.” What does that look like exactly? Do you want to sell more of your high-profit items or more of everything in general? What about promoting products that don’t sell as well so that you can justify keeping them in stock?
Regardless of your objective, make sure that you can attach a number to it. If your sales are currently 1,000 units per month, a goal could be to sell an additional 100. Then, if your marketing strategy reaches that number, you can know that you succeeded.
Stay Focused Within a Particular Campaign
Realistically, you will want to have multiple campaigns running simultaneously to build your brand. However, you need to remain focused on the target at hand, rather than trying a variety of options and seeing what sticks. If one campaign is designed to boost the sales of a particular product, make sure that all of your marketing materials reflect that. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to tell if it’s working.
Protecting Your Marketing Budget
Just as your kid could have his or her lunch money stolen by a bully, your marketing campaigns could be wasting valuable resources. As a responsible steward of your advertising, you must know where the money is going and what kind of return you’re getting.
Overall, you should be tracking every dollar to see where it’s going. If your marketing spend is a small budget of $2000 per month, you should know how every dollar of that total is spent. An itemized breakdown could be something like this:
- $500 on printed stickers (design $295, printing $205)
- $700 on pay-per-click (PPC) ads ($200 setup and admin, $500 advertising)
- $800 on content creation ($200 blog copy, $500 social media copy and media cards, $100 Adobe Stock images)
Whether you utilize an internal designer either part or full time or an external design team, you want to track your costs in a similar fashion – how much time and what spend is put out to develop the resources you have available?
While it can be difficult to determine the exact ROI on each line item, you can figure out which elements are helping the most. Again, being laser-focused is critical. For example, a generic banner hanging in front of your store may or may not be adding to your bottom line. A banner highlighting a specific sale, however, can be much easier to track. Another tracking method could be to have unique claim codes or digital coupons that show where customers originated (i.e., social media or SEO).
Have Your Marketing Campaign Do Its Homework
It’s easy to assume that throwing more money at your marketing strategy will produce results. However, it’s not necessarily the amount you’re spending – it’s the value you’re getting from it. To ensure that you’re receiving the most bang for your buck, you need to analyze each detail to see what’s working and what isn’t. This is one of the primary reasons that your goals have to be quantifiable – if you can’t attach numbers to your campaigns, then how can you know if you’re succeeding or not?
Even if you started without an actual number in mind, it’s never too late to course-correct. The first step is to see where you’re at in a variety of situations. Some numbers you should already have include:
- Number of Transactions (daily, weekly, monthly)
- Total Sales (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually)
- Average Sales (monthly, quarterly, yearly)
- Number of Visitors (both in-store and online)
- Profit Margin Per Transaction
Even if you don’t have this data already, it should be relatively easy to collect. Once you do, then you can start looking at different aspects of your bottom line. For example, what is the average order size per customer? What is your capture rate from both in-store and online purchases (i.e., if you get 100 visitors, how many purchase something)? How does your traffic ebb and flow throughout the year? Which products sell the most and the least?
Analyzing this data will give you a much better idea of how to proceed with your marketing strategy. Otherwise, you could be putting more and more money into tactics that will wind up costing you, rather than building your investment.
Set a Curfew For Your Marketing Plan
Finally, you should be checking in on your marketing materials regularly. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, reviewing all of your details ensures that you’re staying on target. Just as you inscribe your child’s height on the door frame as he or she grows, you need to be looking at how your business is increasing over time. Without these consistent check-ins, it’s easy to lose momentum, which can stunt your overall success, like a second grader who has been spending all of their time in your liquor cabinet instead of eating their vegetables… ok, the metaphor is running a bit thin, but you catch the drift.
Let Green Vine Marketing Help
As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Similarly, you will need assistance (i.e., a babysitter) to watch your marketing campaigns. At Green Vine Marketing, we understand how to accomplish your goals and analyze the data accordingly. Don’t leave your marketing plan unattended; let us keep an eye out for you.
Give us a call at (720) 295 – 8463