In the previous article (which you can read here), we discussed how you can identify a marketing rut, and what it means.
In this guide, we’ll unpack the next step - which is coming up with actionable steps you can take to stop wasting marketing spend on fruitless efforts and turn it into pure ROI for your business. If you haven’t read part 1 of this series, we recommend reading it first before delving into these steps.
Now that you have acknowledged that your marketing is in a rut, it’s time to rectify it. Here’s our list of actionable steps to get your marketing back on track.
Define what success looks like in your business.
What exactly would successful marketing do for your business? Would it result in more sales newsletter sign ups, create brand awareness, product recognition, build brand loyalty or improve your brand’s reputation? Start by defining the most important goal(s) for your business and take it from there.
Identify what’s not working.
Now that you’ve defined your goal, look at your current marketing and identify the factors that are not helping your reach it.
Pause your media spend.
To avoid wasting more money, pause any media spend and work on figuring out a new strategy. Think about how you can align your business and marketing goals and map out a rollout strategy.
Consider hiring a marketing agency.
Once you’ve got a clear goal and plan, consider enlisting the help of a marketing agency or full-time marketing assistance, at the very least. Investing in a marketing agency will give you the expertise of a graphic designer, web developer, copywriter, marketing manager, campaign manager and SEO expert under one roof, which is more cost effective than hiring an in-house creative and marketing team. This means saying goodbye to trial and error marketing practices, giving you the peace of mind and time you need to focus on running your business.
Prioritise having a marketing strategy.
A well-thought-out marketing strategy is an essential part of executing any marketing plan. A marketing strategy details and documents your business and marketing objectives, your current marketing efforts (what’s working and what isn’t), and looks at your competitors’ success and failures points. Your marketing strategy will look at your target audience and segments (based on interests, behaviors or shopping cycles) as well as how to attract them; followed by the appropriate digital platforms to use and how this will be executed based on your budget. In the proposed budget, you will need some form of results metric worked out, which acts as a guideline for what your marketing spend will buy you and how much you will need to spend to achieve your desired results.
It takes money to make money.
You need to spend on your marketing to gain new business leads, newsletter signups, brand awareness and reach any other marketing objectives. Measurable marketing is incredibly valuable but it can’t be done on a very small or non-existent budget. If funds are tight, then the general rule is to stick to one platform and execute marketing exceptionally on that one platform. Google AdWords (Search) is usually the platform that will get you the fastest results on a more limited budget.
Put stringent measurements in place.
A good marketing agency will set up a KPI (key performance indicator) document for you to be able to measure your marketing efforts each month. This takes into consideration the budget and proposed results stated in the marketing strategy and fleshes everything out for you. For example, if you are a car dealership and your main objective is to sell cars, success for your business would be 20 car sales (of a specific price range) a month. The KPI document will look at your overall marketing budget (say this is R80k a month), your advertising channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Wheels 24) and your benchmark (worked out according to the price per conversion per channel) which could be to sell 8 cars on Wheels 24, 5 on Facebook, 5 on Instagram and 2 on Twitter. This will be documented each month and worked out per quarter and per year, for a holistic view of success. This also acts as a quick reference guide for the campaign manager, ensuring they know where to optimize the campaigns according the performance this month and year to date.
Hold someone accountable.
By hiring a marketing agency, you are able to hold the expert accountable for your businesses marketing success or failure.
Embrace the new extension of your business.
Understand that your dedicated marketing person or agency is not a sperate entity; rather, they are an extension of your business. It’s important to communicate product launches, campaign pushes, seasonal items, offline efforts any plans you may have with them, so your brand has a cohesive feel on and offline.
Analyse the monthly feedback.
Ensure you get a monthly report from your marketing agency or marketing expert. This should highlight the performance for the month - showing what worked, what didn’t and what can you learn from this going into the next month. Take the time to read this and to meet (virtually or in-person) to go through the performance.
If you are concerned you are wasting time and money on marketing efforts that are producing no real value to your business; if you need a marketing strategy, or measurable marketing that’s going to produce results; or if you want a marketing team on board that cares as much about your business’ success as much as you do, then email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. and we will assist you. You can also follow Arc Interactive on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.
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