If you want to improve the performance of your startup, one of the best things you can do is to work on your marketing. However, that can come with a cost- literally. According to the Small Business Administration, new businesses should spend 7 to 8 percent of their estimated revenue on marketing if their revenue is $5 million or less.
Yet, for some businesses, the marketing budget can account for up to 40 percent of their revenue. With businesses plugging millions of dollars into marketing each year, ensuring they get the most from their marketing budget is unsurprisingly a key concern. So how can you ensure you get the maximum benefits from your marketing spend? Well, here are a few of the basics.
Avoid Temptation And Ensure You Have A Marketing Mix
It may be tempting to invest your entire marketing budget in the latest digital marketing trend like influencer marketing or video marketing. Creating a balanced marketing mix mitigates the risks of putting your marketing budget in one space. The right marketing mix will rely on your intended audience, which is where thorough market research comes in. Once you have a clear indication of your ideal consumer and marketing goals, find out what platforms/strategies fit into your parameters. For instance, an audience with age demographics 18-34 years old may favor social media and video platforms. A tip to maximize your budget: utilize initial consultation sessions with marketing professionals or agencies before investing to reduce costs. Agencies specializing in online advertising and generating online sales or leads are often very happy to have an initial consultation with potential clients free of charge. While the meeting is meant to see if you are a good fit, it can also provide you with valuable insight on who your ideal consumer is and the best targeting strategies for them.
Create Built-In Check In And Review Points For All Marketing Strategies
Good marketing management considers the chances of having to pivot approaches during implementation. This is why it is critical to not only have regular check-ins but also consider alternative marketing strategies- or a contingency plan. Consistent and regular analysis of your unique KPIs like conversion rates will give you a glimpse of how your marketing strategy is performing and whether it is giving you the best value for your budget. If it is not meeting your intended marketing objectives, it may be time to switch your marketing approach.
Follow The Data Not Just The Trends
While the latest marketing trends like video content or inbound marketing may seem appealing to help your brand stay on-trend, it does not necessarily mean that these trends resonate with your target consumers. Instead, the best approach is to base your marketing strategies on reliable data and market indicators. This should also drive the allocation of your marketing budget. For instance, if your target audience for a marketing campaign are consumers aged 65 and older, do your research on what today’s seniors are looking for in marketing content.
Data on the best marketing channels for seniors today also show that 43 percent of them now watch on-demand or streamed content. Older consumers also tend to place more emphasis on customer service and transitional communication than other age categories.
Finally, look for areas where you can streamline and automate your marketing process without compromising the end result. This is particularly important for startups a nd smaller businesses where their marketing budget may be small but need to be effective. Exploring low-cost marketing tactics or finding ways to cut unnecessary spending can help you stick to your marketing budget but still achieve your objectives.
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