Get the most from your marketing budget


Get the most from your marketing budget

Some of this depends on how your marketing budget is set. In my experience, the key to setting a budget is to have a really good feel for the market you are intending to operate in, creating a clear focus and order of priorities. This can often be more difficult than it may seem, as generally, there are conflicting priorities within the business. The second stage is to capture the costs of all marketing activity, this includes everything from the corporate brochure through to the secretary producing a mailing and sending it out to local contacts. This gives you a feel for how much is actually being spent in terms of time and cost.

Once the actual costs have been identified it is easier to review what has been successful and what is not giving you an adequate return. The next top tip is to look at your suppliers. As an example, if you are using more than two or three printers, you either have specific printing requirements that these different companies provide, or, it is often more likely that you are simply wasting your money. If you are focused, you can work with your supply chain to provide better value for money.

This is not done through simply squeezing your costs, but through giving them more work and in return asking for closer brand management, warehousing, pre-ordering and a host of other business benefits that should show cost reduction. As well as working with your own supply chain, you should also look at who is doing what within your organisation. Is this the best use of their time, and also, is this activity what you would like them to do? I am always surprised at how much activity is being conducted on work which the company would never indorse as legitimate marketing spend.

The next stage is to make sure you have some method of capturing the success of your activity. This is not just lead generation but conversions, repeat orders etc. You should also conduct a comprehensive review of existing customers, allowing you to profile the kind of customers that you attract and can inform some basic targeting strategies. Study the sales cycle.

This is the process in which your prospects are turned into customers. Identify the key marketing activity that attracts, persuades and then closes the process. Prioritise this activity. My last point is to spend time and money on producing limited highly focused marketing tools and then use them across the business.