I meet business owners and managers who are running successful companies, on a regular basis. A common talking point surrounds the strain on marketing budgets due to competitive pressures and the wider choice of marketing activities available. When I ask “what channel works best for you” I get a mix of answers but the underlying issue is that most people don’t really know because they don’t measure and analyse the results.
Time and again I see businesses spending a large proportion of their marketing budgets in traditional marketing channels such as print advertising, tradeshows and events and email blasts via bought-in lists.
Now there may be nothing wrong in this approach and it may work for some but if I was responsible for running a business (which I am) then I’d want to know what returns I’m getting from each of my advertising and promotion channels (which I do).
I wouldn’t want to leave it all to chance just because:
- We’ve always done it this way
- If I don’t take up the option then the place will be given to my competition
- If we don’t exhibit there people will think we’re in trouble
- I get a good deal with the magazine/supplier
- I’m not comfortable with all of this social media/digital marketing stuff
Marketing is evolving and we have a great many new channels that we can use to get our key messages across. The buying behavior of our audience has changed, driven by technology and the ubiquitous mobile device they all use.
There is still a need for traditional marketing methods but you need to create a balance between offline and online marketing that suits the changing behavior of your audience within your marketplace.
A key area where you should be focusing your attention is on your website. It’s the window into your business, it works tirelessly for you 24/7 and it’s where most people who have a problem to solve will look. What’s more, through your web analytics package you can see how many visitors you’re getting, where they come from, how long they spend on each page, what pages are most popular and you can use this information to help guide your marketing decisions.
If your website looks like it was created 10 years ago by a 14 year old schoolboy (and some sites do), how do you think the visitor will perceive your business. More a case of Vauxhall conference, rather than premier league and if you offer a premier league product or service how will the view of the website impact the amount the visitor is willing to pay for that product or service?
Digital marketing and social media marketing is here to stay, so make sure you consider this when your looking at next year’s marketing budget.