Not seeing any results from your marketing budget? Here’s why…

Over the years, we’ve spoken to literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of companies about their marketing and we’ve found they typically fall into one of four categories.

  1. Companies that don’t believe that marketing works
  2. Companies that have no marketing budget but would ‘do’ marketing if they had one
  3. Companies that do have a marketing budget but aren’t getting the required results.
  4. Companies that do have a marketing budget and are getting results from it

If you recognise that your organisation sits firmly in the third category, this post is for you. Below we’ve listed five common reasons why a company’s marketing efforts might not bare any fruit. Don’t forget you can drop us a line at any point if you would like more information or assistance.

Wrong place

It’s a classic. Someone, somewhere at some point in the past said “Facebook works great for our business” and since then you’ve been valiantly pushing out content on ships propellers or the latest bulletproof vests through your Facebook page waiting for phone to ring. There’s a school of thought which says the more places you market to the better… but it’s wrong. That’s only good for a marketing agency’s wallet. Spend your time, effort and money on marketing your business in places where your customers hang out. If that’s LinkedIn, great. If it’s a forum or a specific industry platform, then market to there. Don’t be too quick to jump to assumptions though. You wouldn’t think Instagram for example, would be a good place for a shipyard to market, but Besiktas Shipyard in Turkey has got over 17.6 thousand followers. Take a look.

Wrong Message

Customer-centric marketing is nothing new. It’s about focusing your marketing message (and your strategy) around the wants and needs of your customers to drive engagement. It’s not about pushing out product or company information and explaining why you’re the greatest. Imagine if we were to say that we’re the best marketing agency for small and medium sized businesses in the UK over and over again… you might find that interesting once, but you’d grow tired of that message pretty quickly. Audiences are fickle and it might not be a very “PC” thing to say – but they’re self-absorbed and will always ask “what’s in it for me?”.  Focus your marketing on how your product or service will make your customers feel. What problems does it address? How will it transform your customer’s lives?

If you’ve got your head around customer-centric marketing and it’s still not working – your message can still be wrong, irrelevant or outdated. Market research will tell you the challenges your target market face and what their buying triggers might be with surprising results. One last thing. Keep your message simple. Don’t unnecessarily confuse your audience.

No measurement

Imagine giving someone £25,000 to buy a vehicle for you. A specialist vehicle that had to make a very specific trip and deliver a particularly niche product and your business depended on it. Now imagine after handing over the money and never bothering to check whether the purchased vehicle was up to the job or in fact, completed the job.

That’s the same as spending money on a marketing campaign and not measuring it. How do you know if the campaign is up to the job? How do you know if it delivered results? How do you know if it’s something you should be putting more money into it?

Before starting any campaign, understand what you’re trying to achieve and make sure you’ve got the tools in place to measure the metrics. If a campaign isn’t working, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to bin it and start again from scratch. Sometimes a slight change of wording or a different image is all it takes to turn a campaign around. A good marketing manager will always measure and refine again and again and again.

Poor Website

Marketing forms part of your customer journey. It reaches out to people and draws them in… normally to your website. Your website then furnished your visitors with more information and gets them excited enough about your product or service that they’ll want to purchase or make an enquiry about it. Having a poor website puts an instant stop to the customer journey. We’ve seen some great campaigns recently on LinkedIn ads and we’ve clicked through to see if they can help our business. Often though the campaigns have directed us through to a dated or incomplete website with poor grammar and broken links. LinkedIn marketing isn’t cheap and some companies are spending hundreds, if not thousands of pounds every month directing people through to a website which is turning potential customers away. Before you start any marketing campaign – plan the customer journey and make sure every step along the way leads your customers towards a potential purchase.

No follow up

Following on from our point about marketing being a journey, prospective customers often need a little nudge in the right direction, even if they’ve reacted positively to your marketing so make sure you give it to them. It’s easy to think that a prospect has gone off the idea of buying your product because they’ve not been back in touch, but the truth is – we’re all busy people and we all get distracted. Make it a rule that every marketing campaign is measured and followed up to ensure you’re making the most of your marketing budget. You’ll be surprised at the difference a follow up can make.

That’s all in this post. If you would like more information about the points raised or you would like to talk about how our marketing services can benefit your organisation – get in touch on +44 (0) 207 458 4788. Thanks – and don’t forget, if you’ve found this article useful, someone you know probably will do too so place share.

How to get the most from a small marketing budget… (Part 1)

If you’re responsible for marketing in a small or mid-sized business, the chances are – you’ll only have a small or mid-sized budget to work with. So how do you get your brand seen and your message heard when the purse strings are tied? Here’s part 1 in a 2-part series which offers a few ideas to help your small marketing budget go further….

Don’t use Google AdWords

Controversial I know but the reality is, unless you have a stack of cash or your product is the most niche product imaginable, stay well away from Google AdWords. It will empty your pockets and deliver very little in return. One of its major flaws, is that your competitors can drain your budget by clicking on your links. It’s a common practice which will leave your business virtually invisible to the online world once your small marketing budget has been used up.

If you insist on using AdWords / search engine PPC advertising – use Bing instead of Google

Yes, we know that billions of people use Google and only hundreds of millions use Bing. However, if you’ve only got the budget to pay for 20 or 30 clicks per month – is the number of users really relevant? On average, the cost per click for advertising on Bing is about 1/5 of the price of Google. That means, for your monthly budget – you can afford to attract 5 times more visitors to your website with the same budget. There’s absolutely no difference in the quality of the visitor.

You might also want to think about advertising to mobile users only. More users than ever access the internet via the mobile and the PPC option for mobile is often cheaper.

Only market where your target audience is likely to be

Don’t waste your time and money trying to reach the biggest audience. Do your research and find out where your target audience ‘hangs-out’ and market specifically to them. Having exposure across every social media platform imaginable is pointless if your audience only hangs out on one or two of them. Choose marketing channels (Facebook / Twitter / Email Marketing / PPC etc.) that are most relevant to your audience, that offer the best value for money and that offer you the best way of getting your message across.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never rely solely on one marketing channel. Make sure you have a few options in your marketing mix.

Understand your sales funnel and your customer journey

A singular marketing activity working alone has very restricted capabilities. Let’s imagine for example, you want to spend your budget on acquiring followers on Facebook. Ask yourself, what’s the purpose of this? What actions do you want your Facebook followers to take? For your audience to become your customer, you need to devise a “sales funnel” or a “prospect journey” which transforms your audience to followers, your followers to website visitors, your website visitors to enquiries and your enquiries to sales. If you don’t have that journey mapped out, your marketing activities will be far less effective and that means you’ll have to spend more money to achieve the same results.

Pair your marketing with you sales activities

This is really an extension to the above. If you’re expecting to put out a marketing campaign and be inundated with inbound enquiries – without a huge budget, I’m afraid to say you might be disappointed. To maximise the effectiveness of your marketing – you need to pair it with a sales initiative. If you’re sending out a marketing email, complete a follow up call for all those that opened or clicked on your email. If you’re running a campaign to drive people to your website, make sure there’s an effective landing page to capture prospects information so that you can call them back.

A sales persons job is so much easier with marketing support and a marketing persons activities are so much more successful when paired with sales activities – yet in many smaller and mid-sized organisations, these skill sets and strategies rarely merge to fulfil their potential.

That’s all in this, the first part of a 2-part series on “How to get the most from a small marketing budget”. Pop back next week for more great tips… or if you’d like to discuss your marketing in more detail – why not drop us a call on 0207 458 4788 or visit our marketing services page.

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