How much marketing should you be doing? Should you maybe buy a TV spot, place online ads, redo your website, create Facebook posts, send a direct mail postcard? If you’re asking questions like these, please start over.
The more effective process is to begin by establishing your marketing goals.
From there, you create a marketing budget and plan that put methods, media, dollars and dates in place for achieving those goals.
Often, the dollar figure for your marketing budget is based on a percentage of gross sales – 7-8 percent, for example. But the range is wide, depending on your industry, your size and your growth stage.
The marketing plan that’s based on your annual business cycle keeps you from having to chase opportunities one at a time – should you create a brochure, add a radio spot, start a blog? – but instead gives you a foundation for good choices throughout the year.
What you want is an integrated marketing plan that pulls together multiple elements – online, electronic, print – for one purpose: achieving your marketing goal. What you want to avoid is relying on one trendy tool to build your business.
Social media is an example. Some of the major retailers get millions of “likes” on their pages, but that’s because the customers “met” them somewhere else first – through TV, mailers, other marketing or in the store. And they have established a relationship. For the small business, a Facebook page has a place in reaching out to customers. But hiring an advertising agency to write your posts might not be a practical use of your marketing dollars.
The question is, what is the best use of your available budget and time? You can develop those answers in your marketing plan. We can help. We’re 24 Communications, an advertising agency in Montgomery, Alabama. Give us a call.