It's planning season! Goals, objectives, strategies, and budgets will all be set in the next few months for the upcoming new year. While we've likely heard it before, we've all gone against this nugget of wisdom at some point: don't set your budget based upon what you spent the year before.
Whether it's ignorance or laziness, using last year's budget seems harmless, but it can actually jeopardize your goals and objectives or result in a lower return on investment (ROI). What's worse is that as technology evolves more and more rapidly everyday, this ignorance or laziness becomes more magnified with each passing year.
So where do you begin? Once you've identified your goals and objectives for next year, the fun begins!
Aligning marketing tactics with goals.
Strategizing how you're going to achieve your goals shouldn't rely on past activities. The world we live in is constantly evolving with new opportunities in technology to reach your target market. By simply repeating what you did last year because it worked doesn't guarantee success for next year. Our daily tendencies are evolving more rapidly than at any other point in history. Keep a pulse on your target market's habits and ask them how they spend their time. Email, texts, social media, gaming, driving... get into their lives! Year after year you will notice new and emerging trends, as well as notice some of your tried and true tactics becoming less effective.
These evolutions require reallocating advertising dollars. Money you used to pour into traditional media could be earning you a higher ROI in an emerging media. Likewise, you may also find you have a higher concentration of your target market in emerging media vs. traditional.
Determining which tactics to execute.
Once you've got a list of tactics, you'll want to select which will get you the biggest return on investment. Working with a marketing consultant is helpful if you don't have a lot of experience with different media. Points to consider include audience size, demographics, psychographics, and obviously, the price for audience reach. Additionally, production and time investment are important factors. Cold calling is a viable marketing tactic if you've got time to dedicate to it.
Finalizing the plan
Once you've determined which tactics to execute, you build your budget from the bottom up. If the number is higher than you're comfortable with, take another look at the projected outcome and the tactics you've chosen. If the audience matches up, the cost per person makes sense, and your profit margin allows you to make up your investment and then some, dip your toe in the water and try it for a few months. If the investment is paying off, you'll be able to justify leaving it in your budget.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in marketing. However, the guidance of an experienced marketing consultant will greatly improve your odds of success. Call Rethink Marketing for a free consultation today.