Stop Wasting Your Marketing Dollars – Part 3: Social Media and Spend Prioritization

 This is Part 3 in a three part series.  Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 discussing The Basics and Sales.

Social Media and Spend Prioritization

There’s an old saying that goes “I think we are wasting half of our marketing budget, I just don’t know which half.” Many of us have felt that way, even those of us who have spent our careers in marketing. Marketing expenses occur by their nature before the sale and it takes a bit of faith to believe “if you build it they will come.”

social_mediaSo the trick is then to get the most from your marketing expenditures. To make sure every dollar counts. Thankfully, there are some steps that almost every company can take to ensure that marketing budget is well-spent and will produce the desired results. Here are 8 ways to increase the results and lower the risks of your marketing spend.

Use a targeted social media strategy

Social media is all abuzz these days. It’s in the news, it’s hot and everybody wants to know what you’re doing about it. Many marketers succumb to this pressure and throw up Facebook pages and start tweeting left and right. Then they can tell their friends they are up to date with social media.

Resist the temptation. You’ll waste time and without a well-thought strategy and carefully segmented content, you’ll turn off the early adopters to your social media and it will stunt your growth. A carefully developed strategy should be in place before a single Tweet goes out.

That being said, potential customers may expect you to some social media presence. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube can be useful and very cost effective ways to promote products and speak to potential customers. However, it’s not necessary to be active in every social media channel.

So what’s in a strategy? The strategy should reflect basic marketing blocking and tackling; who are the target customers we are trying to reach, what is the message we want to get to them and what is the frequency we’ll use in that channel. When you develop the strategy, consider the way each channel is consumed and match it to your content.

Bet on the right horse

Once the lead engine is built and the metrics are in place, the company’s growth can truly be fueled by marketing. As company revenues grow, budget for marketing campaigns become available to execute outbound marketing campaigns. The techniques used will likely be prioritized in inverse order of the campaigns overall costs. With good metrics, future campaign choice will focus on those with the lowest “cost per conversion” or “cost per qualified lead” results.

It’s an unfortunate truth that you cannot put all your marketing eggs in just one basket, even if that basket has the best economics. Suspects do not receive their messaging uniformly and some purchasers gravitate to certain places to get their information and other end up in a different place.

Web banners, webinars, direct mail, telemarketing and trade shows are all useful outbound marketing techniques, but each only reaches some of the potential market.

One of the techniques in a multi touch environment would be to look at the “first touch/ last touch metrics” of a recent period’s sales. Where did we first “meet” these prospects and which campaigns were most responsible for turning them into leads. These may change over time, signaling competitive pressures or changes, evolution in the market or market saturation effects. These should be monitored monthly to ensure that marketing can make changes before lead volume, cost or quality suffers.

Other strategies in discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series:

  • Make sure your message is clear
  • Get some press
  • Ensure that your website is “all that it can be”
  • Bring your sale support materials up to date
  • See that marketing and sales “get along”
  • Beware of “sales leakage”

Bringing it all together

Executing effective marketing to stimulate a company’s full growth potential is not simple.

It involves careful prioritization and the establishment of a solid foundation of basic fixed cost marketing vehicles.

It’s not rocket-science either. With proper consideration of the target markets, the message and the marketing vehicles and their timing, backed up by careful and consistent measurement of the results, companies can look to marketing to establish goals, chart the strategy to meet them and execute with full visibility as to what is working and what is not. This transparency will increase marketing’s stature and allow all stakeholders to see for themselves how things are working.

At the end of the day, marketing can only be an effective leader in steering a company’s growth when it has the full support of all parts of the team. If the steps outlined in this paper are followed, marketing can earn the confidence of the entire organization and lead the company to higher levels of growth.


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  4. […] Social media is a hub of connections. On it you find anybody, from long-forgotten childhood friends to a spouse. Finding and forging those connections has never been easier. Businesses have capitalized on the bridge social media has created to get in touch with potential customers. But in a digital sphere so saturated by small businesses and multi-national corporations, it’s not easy for businesses to make that connection. […]

  5. […] Social media is a hub of connections. On it you find anybody, from long-forgotten childhood friends to a spouse. Finding and forging those connections has never been easier. Businesses have capitalized on the bridge social media has created to get in touch with potential customers. But in a digital sphere so saturated by small businesses and multi-national corporations, it’s not easy for businesses to make that connection. […]

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