What If You Knew That Every Dollar You Spent On Advertising Would Come Back To You With Profit Attached?
For most businesses, this would represent a significant change from the way things are today. In fact, just being able to tell if you made or lost money would be a significant leap. But put a few advertising sales reps in a room with some marketing directors or ad agency people and it won’t be 30 seconds before someone throws out the term “investment.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but in my mind the term “investment” refers to something purchased with the intent of generating a profit. And by definition, it implies that the value of that asset can be clearly determined after you purchase it – after all, you can’t really call something an “investment” if there’s no way to accurately track results can you?
The truth is that most businesses cannot realistically refer to their marketing and advertising strategy as an investment because they are unable to track metrics like response rates, conversions, and profitability associated with their campaigns. Essentially, they choose what feels right, write some checks, and keep their fingers crossed hoping that phone calls, traffic, or sales increase. This is not tracking – it’s wishful thinking – and it naturally encourages businesses owners and marketing people to attribute any successes to advertising investments and failures to things that are “out of our control.”
You Can’t Afford Guesswork.
This stuff isn’t cheap. Costs associated with marketing, advertising, and sales are some of the largest expenditures on the balance sheet. Yet unlike other spending decisions, such as equipment purchases or infrastructure investments, marketing budgets are often deployed based on a combination of guesswork, instinct, and faith. Needless to say, this is not a recipe for success.
Everybody understands that advertising is necessary, and everybody, it seems, has strong opinions about what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, these opinions tend to be based on anecdotes, theories, and outright superstition, rather than hard numbers.
“Branding” Is Not A Strategy.
The vast majority of advertising messages you are exposed to are designed with little more than “awareness building” or “branding” in mind. This is fine if you’re Apple, Nike, Verizon, or Coca Cola, but it’s not an effective strategy for the other 98% of businesses out there. You don’t have a billion-dollar global advertising budget and you don’t have the luxury of relying on clever creative concepts and “branding” initiatives to “raise awareness” in hopes that someday, hopefully, a consumer will be motivated to try your product.
As a small business owner, you depend on a steady stream of new customers and new revenue to thrive. Every dollar you allocate to advertising should produce a tangible result that you can track. If you can track, you can optimize, and continuous optimization is the difference between the winners and the losers in this game. It’s not difficult to do, but it definitely represents a significant strategic shift from the norm.
Here’s the good news: A properly designed and executed marketing strategy will turn your business into a profit generating machine.
Here’s the even better news: Any business can do this. The concepts are simple to understand and utilize basic technologies that everyone has access to. It doesn’t matter how large your budget is. In fact, an effective strategy supported by a small budget can be exponentially more profitable than a huge budget supporting a campaign that doesn’t motivate people to act.
Contact Media is a marketing consulting firm that develops profitable marketing strategies for small and mid-sized businesses. We use the same tools that everyone else uses: Websites, Search Marketing, Television, Radio, Print, Outdoor, Email, Direct Mail etc. But the difference is that we also show you how to execute a comprehensive marketing strategy that will make all of these delivery vehicles more accountable, and effective, for your business.
Stop Obsessing About The Media Mix.
It’s not the media you use that matters. No media is inherently good or bad. The difference between success and failure depends on what you say, not how you choose to deliver the message.
You also have to know who you are talking to. Most advertising messages are broad and general. This shows a lack of focus and results in boring, ineffective messaging that does not differentiate your business. It’s also wasteful.
Once you begin to direct your advertising campaigns towards your most profitable consumers, everything you do becomes much more effective.
If you knew that every dollar you spent on advertising would come back to you with profit attached, you would know that your marketing plan is a profit center, not an expense. If you’re frustrated with the results you’ve achieved on your own or with the help of advertising agencies, advertising sales reps, or “friendly advice” from friends, family, or other acquaintances, you’re in the right place. Start by downloading our free report, The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Business Marketing, available at the top of this page. This report will help you identify key areas where you may be going astray with your marketing. If you discover that your current marketing strategy is a little on the “sinful side,” don’t worry about it – we’re here to help.