The first quarter of 2018 has flown by. What is the state of your marketing budget? Have you overspent, underspent, or are you right on target? More importantly, are the marketing strategies you employed working effectively? Now is a good time to evaluate and readjust as needed for the next nine months.
What percentage of your overall profit do you spend on marketing? If your annual sales are less than $5 million and you’re making a 10-12% profit margin, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7–8% of your gross revenue on marketing. If you spend significantly more, consider cutting some initiatives. If you spend significantly less, remember that marketing can have a substantial long-term impact on the success of your business.
Make sure you’re getting the most for your money by considering the following tips:
Prioritize Digital Marketing
How much of your marketing budget did you allocate to digital strategy? In 2018, the average firm was expected to allocate 41% of their marketing budget to digital marketing, a rate that is expected to grow to 45% by 2020. If you haven’t invested significantly in your digital strategy, now is the time to do so.
Monitor Your ROI
Your marketing efforts are empty if you can’t show a positive ROI at the end of the day. Calculating your ROI can be daunting—over 60% of marketers identify calculating ROI as one of their primary challenges. If you aren’t using Google Analytics, it’s a great place to start. In addition, the Haven team can help you calculate ROI using social media management tools and other data-driven resources that you might not have access to on your own.
Hire Experts Without Overspending
Identify the areas where you might need help and hire an expert consultant. You may cringe at the idea of spending money on a consultant or outside agency, but the financial cost will be well worth the long-term payoff when you consider the time you will save (and the potential failed strategies you will prevent!). Employing dedicated experts that provide an objective perspective and high-level experience will help you stay ahead of rapidly changing trends.
Get Involved in Your Community
Getting involved in your community is one of the most effective methods for marketing your business. Your customers want to know that you are invested in them and in their community, and the best way to show that is to actually invest in those things. Volunteer at a local shelter, support a local sports league…the opportunities for community involvement are nearly endless.
If your marketing budget and strategies are right on target, way to go! Celebrate your successes and strategize how you will exceed them next year. If, on the other hand, your budget or strategy are not quite where you hoped, it is time to re-organize. Start focusing on the strategies that will give you the greatest return on your investment.