There will be a lot of enduring business lessons from 2020, but in the long run, one of the strongest takeaways will probably also be the simplest: be careful how you spend your money.
You could take our industry as an example. It’s relatively easy to get good online marketing results when the economy is healthy. Throw in a bit of uncertainty, though, and suddenly things that used to work automatically no longer generate returns.
That can put marketers in a tough spot. On the one hand, a few businesses can’t afford to waste money right now. But on the other hand, those same businesses can’t afford to stop marketing either, at least not if they want to continue generating sales.
From our point of view, the answer is to simply be smarter about your spending. To help you out, today we want to give you four ways you can start getting more from your company’s marketing budget…
1. Trace Leads and Sales Back to a Source
You can’t maximize your marketing budget if you don’t know what’s currently working. That’s why we always recommend tracing the source of any new lead or sale. Whether it’s through web analytics, phone questionnaires, or a combination of other tactics, you should do your best to determine how buyers are finding you. Then you can work on emphasizing those sales and marketing channels.
It may be the case that several marketing campaigns are working in concert to generate returns. However, it may also turn out that a big portion of your time and budget are being wasted.
2. Spend with Your Head, Not Your Heart
We frequently meet with business owners who engage in marketing campaigns that are based on their preferences rather than customer behavior. For example, many like posting messages on Facebook and Instagram, because they are personally familiar with these platforms, even though they aren’t generating real results.
After you’ve taken the time to figure out where new business opportunities are coming from, you need to pour your time, energy, and money into the ideas that are working… even if that means ignoring other options that are more fun or comfortable.
3. Adjust Your Budget in Increments
As a general rule of thumb, you never want to increase or decrease your marketing budgets rapidly. Doing so can lead to wasted money and missed opportunities.
When you scale up too fast, you often become less precise in your targeting. You reach for new demographics or audiences that don’t convert at a high rate. When you cut spending dramatically, you can unintentionally stop the flow of new leads and customers into your company. Neither approach is going to be efficient.
4. Spend a Little to Save a Lot
Many years of experience in this business have taught us that an expert eye—and a different perspective—are crucial when you’re trying to make good marketing decisions. It helps to have someone who knows the ins and outs of web design or search engine optimization, for example, especially if they can help you evaluate the results you’re getting with a critical eye.
Business owners sometimes think they are saving money by doing everything on their own. In reality, they waste countless hours and dollars because they don’t have access to the expertise they need.