Caliber Media Group’s Series – Part 2: “Marketing as an Investment: Short Term and Long Term Strategies that Generate Results”
In working with several hundred large and small companies over the years, we found that most companies have a few common misconceptions related to marketing. These misconceptions have often led to mistakes in marketing planning, and little to no results. If you are like some of our clients before they came to us, then you have experienced frustration in doing marketing planning, including unsuccessful attempts.
Strategic marketing planning…or the lack of it can make or break your business. So what do you do if you are unsure of how to proceed?
First, let’s go back to the basics: What is marketing?
Marketing is any activity that connects producers to consumers. It is about identifying needs/wants and then finding and implementing solutions that satisfy those needs and wants. It is attracting your desired target audience to your offering so they will make the decision to purchase, use, follow, refer, upload, download, obey, reject, confirm, etc. from you.
Second, let’s address 4 misconceptions and review the facts related to best practices:
4 Common Misconceptions of Marketing
1. Marketing is simply a cost center. A sales division is how you make money.
It is easy to look at your budget as something flying out the door without the return you’d hoped for. But…did your business do expert marketing planning and set up ways to measure results? If not, the good news is you can now.
If you plan strategically, track campaign results and adjust accordingly, marketing is not just dollars out the door but an investment from which you will see a return. If you utilize good marketing planning, it is possible to maintain a budget and covert your investment to sales benefits!
2. I have an in-house graphic artist or an art department. That’s marketing, right?
It is surprising how many companies operate under the misconception that a graphic artist or art department creating corporate brochures constitutes a marketing department.
To create and execute effectively, marketing planning (which may include a corporate brochure) requires business and marketing knowledge beyond advertising or an art department. Today, it is critical to understand and have the knowledge to execute best internet practices and understand how the web has affected traditional marketing in order to achieve your sales goals.
3. Something is better than nothing.
Strategic (effective) marketing isn’t a shotgun approach. That’s how businesses waste dollars and become “gun shy” or overcautious about investing in marketing.
We look at strategic marketing planning more as a wheel with multiple spokes. Your company (and your website) is at the center of the wheel. The “spokes” are your integrated marketing tactics (e.g. business blogs, SEO, email campaigns, social media, etc.) running concurrently to insure maximum benefits (leads, inquires, sales) and brand exposure.
Even if you only choose to do one or two tactics, make sure to track and measure your results. If you can’t track it you can’t measure it. If you can’t measure it you waste time and money!
4. We’ll market as cash flow permits.
Wow, this is a big one! We could get into a “chicken or the egg” argument here but let’s repeat one of our earlier statements instead….”effective marketing (or the lack of it) can make or break your business”. Our clients are a testimony to business growth from effective marketing planning.
As with any successful business investment, marketing dollars are an essential part of your annual budget. Do you deviate from your budget OR adjust your campaigns as you evaluate success through the year? The answer to that question can change a cost to an investment.
A wise man once said, “You have to spend money to make money.” Our message is, budget strategically rather than be reactionary. Otherwise you fall into the trap of waiting until your sales are flat or worse….decreasing.
Call us…your success is our success. We can support your business to budget, plan, adjust and grow!
Next in the Series, Part 3 - Marketing as an Investment: Short Term and Long Term Strategies that Generate Results – 8 Questions to Formulate Your Marketing Strategy
For a copy of the full-length white paper “Marketing as an Investment: Short Term and Long Term Strategies that Generate Results” please contact Kelly at Caliber Media Group.