The fight for the attention of prospects and buyers is very real. The quality of your interactions with each prospect needs to be spot-on, or they will be lured away by someone who is presenting the content they are looking for when they are looking for it. Omnichannel marketing is more powerful now than ever before, and that means you really need to have a well-constructed marketing strategy and a defined marketing budget.
Just because your products or services are great, doesn’t guarantee that people will find out about them and reach out to you. While that could happen, by the time they do, you’ll likely be out of business. Your marketing needs to be proactive and include a marketing strategy, marketing plan, and advertising plan.
Many people use the terms marketing and advertising interchangeably, but they are very different things. Marketing is everything that goes into creating your offerings, getting them ready for the market, getting the word out to the market, and setting the processes that occur after a sale to retain customers and enhance your offerings. The only goal of advertising is to get the attention of the buying public.
Your marketing budget needs to be sufficient for the end-to-end marketing and advertising process, but in most cases the entire budget is linked to advertising. While attracting prospects is very important, without the other functions of marketing, you’ll be spending much more and closing much less. And the double impact on your budget, spending more and closing less, can be devastating to your business.
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) need to find creative ways to market and advertise that stretch their budget as far as possible without reducing the effectiveness of the efforts. Social media and other “free” platforms (like email) can help, but nothing is truly free. Time is money, and, unless you have a great strategy for using these tactics, your time may be wasted. Ensuring you have a budget that supports every effort is critical.
I often hear “We can’t afford to [fill in the blank here].” My response? “Can you afford not to?” While certain marketing activities or professionals with expertise may seem to be expensive, they do tend to save you a lot in terms of wasted time, energy, and infectively used budget. And, sadly, most companies I speak with have no marketing budget at all. Instead, they apply whatever cash they can pull from other areas of their business, seemingly forgetting there was a reason they earmarked that money in the budget for a reason. The headline here is that the impact of not having a marketing budget – or having an insufficient budget – is much greater than you may think, and it can be a dream-killer for entrepreneurs.
How much should you budget for your marketing? That answer depends on your industry, competitive market, your marketing strategy, the business goals you’ve set, and the time frame for achieving those goals – all of which are specific to your business. We’d be happy to have a discussion with you about how to create your marketing budget if it will help. Schedule a call with us now. Or take a look at this blog on getting the most from your marketing budget.