Money is tight for everyone right now, and no-one is feeling the pinch more than small businesses. Resources are being slashed, budgets are getting cut, and redundancies are a harsh but ever present reality.
But at a time when costs are being cut, the demands from ‘higher up’ are getting bigger and bigger. Especially when it comes to marketing. With stiffer competition, more constraints, and an increased number of campaign options; being in charge of a marketing budget is pretty challenging.
Ways You’re Wasting Your Money
Modern business is all about sales, return on investment, and sales. If you’re spending money, you need to be making money. You need to be carrying about measurable, trackable marketing. You need to be getting results.
So if your business is tightening its proverbial belt, chances are someone is keeping a closer eye on your marketing methods. Why then, are we still wasting this precious money? Why are we still making simple, but costly, mistakes? Here are the five main ways you’re blowing your businesses marketing budget:
1. Don’t Have a Comprehensive Plan
Effective marketing isn’t something you can just guess at. You need to have a comprehensive, strategic plan in place. By going in blind and working on a trial-and-error basis, you’re throwing your boss’s budget away.
Before you begin any long term campaign you need to research it thoroughly. Make sure you’re aware of the pros, cons, and pitfalls. You need to know effective ways to market through this method, and also the things to avoid. Throw yourself in at the deep end, and watch your marketing budget dwindle away.
2. Most Expensive = Most Beneficial
Television adverts are seen by millions of people every day. They also cost a small fortune. But they’re so expensive, because they’re so effective, right? Not always.
Expensive adverts might be suitable for companies with a huge budget to blow, but chances are you’re feeling the pinch. Just because one particular method costs the Earth, it doesn’t automatically mean it’ll send your sales through the roof. If you’re of this mindset, you’re throwing money away.
Instead, explore multiple marketing avenues. Many methods – like social media for instance – are completely free, yet still hugely effective. Do your homework before you spend any money. Price should matter, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
3. Treat All Customers The Same
Many marketers are naïve. They know their customer base and tailor their marketing to this one customer. You know what he likes, wants, and needs. So why waste your time researching customers when they all want the same thing.
If this sounds like you, you’re definitely wasting your marketing budget.
Sure, you may know your main customer base. But not everyone that buys from you is the same. Take the time to research your customers, and make sure you extend your marketing net. This way you can prevent blowing your budget on silly mistakes.
4. Be a Technophobe
Direct mail and telesales have been your business’s go-to marketing strategies for years. So why change them now? Social Media, SEO, PPC – someone might as well be speaking a foreign language to you. Stick to the same, technology-free marketing methods and continue wasting your budget.
Customers are using the internet is a whole host of ways, and you need to have a presence in these places. The way we shop and search is changing, and staying stuck in your ways is only going to waste money.
5. Don’t Research the Competition
Unless you’re very niche, you’re going to have competitors. But the best – and cheapest – thing for businesses to do is just ignore each other, right? Wrong.
You need to take the time to see what else is out there. Sure you may sell similar products, but yours will have a USP. And how can you promote this is if you ignore the competition? Don’t blow your marketing budget by carrying out the wrong marketing. See what’s out there, and adapt.
Effectively marketing your business is essential for staying afloat in these challenging times. By throwing away some of your most vital funds, how can you be sure of success?