I’ve been around the marketing block a few times over the past many years and I’ve learned a few things, too. Namely, I‘ve come to seven conclusions about the most wasteful ways organizations misuse their marketing budgets and programs. And when I say, “misuse,” I’m really talking about organizations making mistakes or losing opportunity that are equal to literally just throwing tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars down the drain.
Here they are:
- Don’t consistently measure marketing results: If I had a dime for every time I heard, “We’re doing these great campaigns but they’re not working.” My next response is, “Can you show me the specific results?” Their answer? “No.” It’s true that marketing is an art, but it’s also a science and one that can – and should – be measured consistently. Otherwise, how do you know what your ROI is? If you don’t know how to set up your marketing program to be measured, get help in doing so from the professionals. Otherwise, you’re wasting money.
- Won’t invest in marketing talent: Whether you hire internally or retain the services of a full-service marketing firm like CommuniTech, it’s essential that you get the right marketing talent onboard. Giving marketing to an unqualified member of your team just because they have a bubbly personality or like to write is like letting someone fly a plane just because they have good eyesight. When you want to drive a serious marketing program, put a qualified person behind the wheel. That means someone with the right college education, experience and know-how to get the job done right – and know how to measure and report on the results.
- Marketing effort is inconsistent: Marketing is not a start-and-stop proposition. You can’t run just one campaign and then stop and wait to see what happens. Nope, uh-uh. Doesn’t work that way. To build awareness and retention, it’s a never-ending process. Once you get your program up and running consistently, you’ll start to measure results and see trends that will enable you to tweak messaging and targets. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work and you’ll eventually have a ‘marketing machine’ working in your favor – and geared to supporting sales and revenues!
- Marketing investments aren’t made with the right mindset: If your marketing program isn’t defined by, “How can I drive more sales or get more loyal customers?” then you need to go back to the drawing board. Marketing feeds sales, builds brand awareness and retention and should be targeted directly to the bottom line.
- Marketing effort is not engaged by or followed-up upon by sales: These two functions must be connected by a bridge. They don’t have to be the same department, mind you, but they have to be working together. Sales needs to buy into the marketing goals, the definitions of success and the two functions have to be in lock-step for how to reach revenue goals together. Far too often, sales blames marketing when their goals aren’t met because leads aren’t qualified. And far too often, marketing blames sales for not closing a lead. So who’s right? Neither. The real problem here is that the two functions aren’t communicating and working together. When there is buy-in and coordination between marketing and sales upfront, there is typically success. When there isn’t, there is typically failure.
- Marketing is given no effective budget not based on or tied to concrete revenue goals: I once had a client who could never hit their sales goals, even though they were marketing. After digging deeper, I realized that their marketing budget was in no way based upon their revenue goals. In fact, the two were light years apart! If your revenue goals are $10M, then your marketing budget can’t be $100,000. The general rule of thumb is 25% of projected revenue should be invested into sales and marketing, all in. So that’s 12.5% for marketing.
- Money is spent on one “cool” thing that has little impact: The key word when marketing is “integration.” It requires a mix of initiatives working together and leveraging each other to drive up results. Blowing your entire marketing budget on TV ads, for example, isn’t going to do it. Think about how bombarded we are by information these days. Cutting through all that noise and clutter takes much more than a one-trick pony to grab your target audience’s attention. Think multi-faceted and integrated initiatives and you’ll be on the road to marketing success!
If you’re doing any of these same seven things, please stop and reconsider. Or better yet, contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I can guide you back on course! At CommuniTech, we pride ourselves on developing strategic marketing programs “with both beauty and brains,” meaning that our campaigns are creative, effective and set up with a foundation to be measured to ensure results and ROI.
Without this same approach, you’re selling your marketing program short, you’re not supporting sales and you’re throwing thousands of dollars (if not more!) down the drain each and every year.