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If marketing were free…

Stop for a moment and just imagine if marketing were free. You’d have access to whatever medium you liked to promote your business, without any worry over costs. And the opportunity to grow and generate more revenue would be at your fingertips.

Unfortunately, we live in the real world. Not even the biggest businesses have access to a bottomless marketing budget. When it comes to marketing, being astute with how the budget is spent is key to achieving a good return.

So which half of your marketing budget works?

With marketing, as with many other aspects of business, there are certain truisms that are proved time and time again. Perhaps the most frustrating for marketeers is that, as John Wanamaker famously observed: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

It’s an age old problem. No matter where or how the budget is spent, there ends up being wastage.

Of course, in an ideal world every penny spent on marketing would yield some sort of result. That’s just not the case.

Can’t we just do some or all of it ourselves?

It’s a question that probably every marketing person who’s ever had to justify their job has come up against at some point.

And the short answer to the question “Can we do it ourselves?” is “Probably not!”.

For marketing campaigns to work, a marketplace must be effectively segmented, potential customers well targeted, and the offering positioned to them in such a way as to be appealing. A marketing agency or professional can use their expert knowledge to ensure that the budget is spent effectively on meeting the above criteria, maximising the potential to find new leads.

So while DIY marketing seems an attractive idea, and it seems easy enough to “just do social media and some direct mail”, this approach will not guarantee returns. Businesses hire professionals or outsource work to experts for all sorts of reasons – solicitors for legal work, or accountants for financial matters. Marketing is no different. The reality is that the opportunities that are lost by ‘doing it ourselves’ outweigh the ‘saving’ of employing a specialist.

Minimise waste, maximise return

While wastage is inevitable, the aim is to minimise it as much as possible. If businesses are to see results, they must be astute with where and how they spend their budget. That means measuring results, reviewing, and refining marketing practices and spend.

It’s key too, that a steady spend is maintained to ensure consistency of leads, and a return on the investment. People don’t stop needing your service during holiday times!

It’s not only about minimising wastage but ensuring that the half of the budget that does deliver results, pays dividends. Essentially, that the revenue generated through marketing spend covers its costs, keeps the wheels turning and promotes growth.

Coherence and consistence leads to success

It’s why companies like DFS continually advertise on television: the cost of not advertising – and allowing another company to steal a share of ‘their’ market – is greater than keeping in front of the nation consistently.

There’s also the question of not knowing when a customer will actually buy from you. If you’re not in front of potential customers consistently when they are ready to buy, they may not remember your business and go elsewhere as a result. So while John Wanamaker’s observation is frustrating, it’s better to have half the marketing budget wasted than lose a good opportunity by not being consistently in front of potential customers.

Why does it matter?

It’s the same for much smaller businesses. A quick Google search for ‘Accountants in Bristol’ returns over half a million results. To be in with a chance of securing a sale, businesses must put their message in front of as many targeted and relevant people as often as they can afford. There is so much choice available to a potential customer that unless businesses do this, there’ll be little opportunity to sell their products or services. The days of the ‘brochure in the post’ or just a ‘brochure website’ are long gone. It’s not enough to just be there, and hope people will come to you.

The trick is to find a cost-effective way to get in front of as many well-targeted potential customers as possible. Email marketing is one of the most economical ways for businesses to put their message in front of the people that might buy from them. It’s our job here at Essentiamail to craft cleverly written emails that entice recipients into clicking and enquiring. If you’re interested in how we might help put your business in front of potential new clients then give us a call, we’d be pleased to help.