I believe that marketing is a continual balance of where to place your dollars. There are avenues that you know will help increase traffic but which are really difficult to put a tangible ROI on (unless you spend extra money on surveys, focus groups and research that is). These items are things like a killer logo, a sleek website look, a presence at local events, even a polished picture on LinkedIn and your company pages. These are all things that give clients and prospects confidence to spend money on you.
There are other items which are ridiculously easy to connect to ROI. Pay per click for example, it’s clear who clicked, what did it cost and where did they go on my site. A bonus is that this is easy to set up and manage, allowing you to determine if it’s worth the cost for you and your business. In fact, most online efforts are relatively easy to connect to ROI: email campaigns, SEO and ranking efforts, online banner and remarketing campaigns to name a few.
Then there are the ones in the middle ground. You may be able to connect some level of activity to those efforts but everyone knows that it’s half science and half guess. Most of these fall into this category because I consider them reinforcing marketing efforts. IE radio, billboard, national print, the list goes on. If you want to rely on asking customers ‘how they heard about you,’ the information is, of course, less than 50% accurate. The idea is fairly common knowledge for marketers and business owners alike.
So the question remains, how do you make these marketing spending decisions? Here are my (and very much my own) top opinions on making these decisions.
- Let yourself trust your gut – a little. Unless you have seen in the past that your gut instincts are rarely correct, I think it’s wonderfully appropriate to spend money on things that you just KNOW make you look better, bigger, smarter, sleeker (the list goes on). So spend money on your logo and brand – find a freelance designer is that’s what makes sense for you. Check their work and tell them exactly what you like and what you want to achieve. ‘Image is everything’ remains a constant across all industries.
- When the data is easy to connect to ROI do it. And then if it’s not working rethink your approach and try again. Then if it isn’t working still, drop it. Move it off the table until next year as a possible reconsideration. Trust me, technology changes so much that you should never assume what worked this month will work in Q4 or vice versa. This is true for Google PPC as much as video marketing.
- When it’s it the middle ground, find a way to put measurable objectives on it. Get unique 800’s for each medium, consider different message campaigns or different timings, create custom URL redirects – find a way to make sure the person controlling the money can see something that resembles data – and let them know the possible flaws AHEAD of time. That way your billboards, ads, etc will have set parameters for them – it’s a start.
Thanks for listening. I would love to hear any comments or differences of opinion as always.