A good business is always trying to maximize its profits.
The best way to do this is to increase income by attracting more customers or creating new products and services.
Besides that, companies are looking at reducing their overhead by becoming more efficient in how they allocate resources and people. What business doesn’t do enough is to track how cost-effective their marketing program is. Many companies and organizations throw good money after bad at their marketing plan without knowing it!
Like every aspect of a business, you must do checks on your marketing. It is an aspect of your operation that changes and evolves as quickly as anything else does. Many companies fall into a rut of continually doing things the same way they always have. If that is the case, you need to sit down and give your current marketing plan a proper examination. Here are five things to specifically look to see if you are getting a bang for your marketing buck.
Social media has always been a two-edged sword. It enables everyone to put their message out there to the world. The problem is that it allows for everyone to put their message out there to the world! Back whenever a social media platform was in its infancy like Facebook or Twitter, anybody getting on board early had a clean playing field. That is not the case these days.
While advertising on some of these platforms is reasonable, even that is getting more and more expensive. If your goal is to put your brand or product in front of people, you may need to spend more time and effort into increasing your email database. Yes, there is a lot to learn about composing your email to be opened and read, but at least you know you are sending it directly to an interested audience.
We live in a world of immediate gratification. We have become programmed that whatever we do, we’ll see results quickly. Order a refrigerator from Amazon; it should be in our kitchen the next day. Call for pizza; it better be there before you hang up the phone. Send an email to someone; you wonder why you haven’t heard back from them within ten minutes.
Are these all exaggerations? Yes, but not by much. This type of mindset is easily transferable to whatever we do with our businesses, including the impact of marketing. Too often, we look at marketing as a sprint when it is more of a marathon. Marketing is not advertising. You can advertise for a Memorial Day weekend sale and see the immediate results when it is over. A good marketing campaign takes a while to gain traction, and you need the patience to see its impact. Too often, a business feels that a marketing effort is failing, so it yanks the plug. The money spent amounted to nothing. Don’t waste your money by not giving time to your plan.
Not knowing your audience is akin to going on a trip and not knowing your destination. If you are setting out to go somewhere, you want to know where you are going. Likewise, putting together a marketing campaign without knowing your audience will be a waste of time in the long run. You might attract a small audience, but it is nothing like you feel you should have done.
It is challenging to have a product or service that appeals to everybody. They do exist, but most successful companies service a niche market. That audience might encompass a specific gender, socioeconomic status, age range, geographical region, and several other criteria. Whoever the audience is, that is to whom you want to gear your marketing plan. Then, the time and money you spend on your marketing will have a higher return on your investment (ROI). As you put together your original strategic plan for your business (you did do that, right?), determining who your primary customers are should have been a big part. You can then funnel that information to the marketing function.
Social media platforms have built-in analytics. Which begs the big question – do you use them? There are also other tools to track your marketing results. Google Analytics can give you a good idea of how effective your marketing is in terms of who you are reaching and how many of them there are.
It takes a little time, whether it is a Google-related platform or something else, to learn how to read and use their analytics. In comparison, you can pay for different programs or services to track your marketing, use the free ones first. For many small businesses or start-ups, there is a wealth of free information utilized from social media.
Different programs will also help you track your progress with email or other marketing elements you use. The point is to know how you are doing with each component of your marketing plan. You might find it is worth spending more money in one area and cut back on another. However, if you don’t track results, you won’t know.
One of the hardest things for a business to do is the focus. It is true for many sectors of a company, including marketing. If you have too many different facets of marketing going on, it becomes impossible to figure out what is working and what is not. As you can see by what we discussed, marketing needs to be as well-planned and systematic as everything else you do in your business.
Divya Parekh is an international Executive Leadership Coach and #1 bestselling author. She is CEO of The DP Group, LLC a global coaching and consulting firm that provides leadership and team development services as well as corporate coaching. Having success in four major career paths, Divya has the expertise and knowledge of real world business backed by a proven record of success. Divya brings over 25 years of rich and extensive experience in academia, the biopharmaceutical industry, and as a global executive and leadership coach. In each of her many roles, she has empowered leaders with breakthrough insights, talent development strategies, and measurable business outcomes. During her biopharmaceutical journey, Divya led successful multi-million dollar projects from concept to completion in a fast-paced and competitive environment. Divya knows what it takes to initiate communication channels that cut across departments, improve cross-functional collaboration, and leverage scientific principles, technical skills, and Lean Six Sigma problem solving tools to measure, evaluate, and improve the productivity of leaders and teams. Divya has guided many seasoned executives, leaders, and management personnel into realizing their goals by creating a cohesive plan to reach their next level of accomplishment. She believes the key factor in leadership success is the partnerships we cultivate. She helps others to learn the exponential power in developing a thorough understanding of their business partners to build resonant relationships and a foundation of mutual trust and safety. Working with cross-functional groups, she inspires them to morph into high-performing, collaborative teams. Her technique utilizes measurable assessments, a supportive delivery method and a bit of pointed accountability that ensures the success of both leaders and professionals in the organization. Divya coaches leaders to cultivate interdependence between themselves and their internal and external stakeholders to achieve a combined mastery in connectivity and alignment through complex business and personal challenges. When people function in an environment of mutual trust, Return on Energy and Return on Investment flourish both in business and life. Divya is the recipient of Worldwide Branding VIP of the Year in 2013 as well as NAPW VIP Woman of the Year in 2014 for showing dedication, leadership, and excellence in leadership coaching. Additionally, Continental Who’s Who named her as a Pinnacle Professional in the field of coaching and consulting. As a Forbes Coaches Council Official Member, Divya is a regular contributor to Forbes. Divya is also the author of numerous leadership and entrepreneurial books. Her books include Stress Management, Mindfulness Mastery, Critical Thinking, Candid Critique, Appreciative Inquiry, Leadership and Influence, Emotional Intelligence, and her newest book, The Entrepreneur's Garden.