When it comes to marketing, where should you spend your time, energy & money?
As we come to the end of the fourth quarter and into the first of the 2014, you should already be planning your marketing for the year. Your budget should be set and have a put the proper strategic plan in place to maximize those dollars. If you have not taken steps to focus on marketing, its not too late but you want to get started immediately. For some business owners, marketing and advertising is a dreadful topic and often pushed off until business slows down and then we rush and throw money at the first opportunity that comes to light or go to what has worked in the past. I can’t stress enough that this tactic, while may effective, is not the best approach because you often waste money that could have yielded better results.
We’ve identified a major reason business owners don’t plan for marketing is because it can be overwhelming. We often see business owners ask themselves the following questions, without an answer:
- Where do spend my money?
- Is traditional or online marketing best?
- Do I need to advertise?
- How much time will it take?
- How do I gain a competitive edge?
- Will it work?
While these questions can be daunting, remember that in today’s world we can track almost everything. Remember to look back, before you look forward. Past mistakes and successes will help guide you in the right direction for the future. Before you we tackle the questions above, ask yourself these:
- What are my goals?
- Where do I want more growth?
- Where did I spend my marketing budget last year?
- What advertising paid off the most last year?
- Where did I waste money?
John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; trouble is I don’t know which half”. While this was true in the early 1900’s, in today’s world we don’t have to waste half of our marketing budget.
If your staff is well trained to track incoming leads and your website is used effectively as an extension of your sales force, we can use that data to be more precise with our marketing. Once you know where you want to go, who you want to target and the desired results, it will be much easier to determine what advertising mediums will work best for your business.
Successful businesses learn from their mistakes. Learn from the past years of marketing and plan for a successful 2014.