Drew's Marketing Minute header image 1

Entries Tagged as 'Marketing plan'

Could your marketing strategy benefit from an outside audit?

November 30th, 2012 · Marketing

Drew’s note ~ Here’s some practical advice from the folks at Simple Machines Marketing and we couldn’t agree more.  We often start our engagements with new clients with an audit like Charlie describes:

As a marketing strategist who works directly with clients, I’m very familiar with the frustration businesses feel when it comes to marketing. The common theme in a lot of the frustration has to do with uncertainty. When a client is responsible for making projections and they’re forced to deal with the probabilities and estimates of a new marketing channel, that’s frustrating.

The fact is that even businesses with a healthy revenue stream and an active marketing operation are often frustrated by uncertainties in marketing. Is there still a good amount of revenue out there that could be claimed with a sharper strategy? If you doubled down on your advertising budget, would that mean doubling your profits? Or, could you be spending less and seeing the same results? Maybe everything is perfect the way it is now?

The Objectivity Problem

Assessing your own marketing plan is trickier than it sounds. While you might think that you’re looking at your strategy objectively, there are factors that make this extremely difficult.

For example, there’s a strong tendency to do things the way they’ve been done before—it’s just human nature.  We’re already comfortable doing things a certain way, and who’s to say that changing them now will make much of a difference? Plus, there’s the person who came up with this plan, and we don’t want to make her feel bad by changing it up for no good reason, right?

An Unbiased Perspective

With an outside marketing audit, businesses can benefit from a totally unbiased perspective on their marketing opportunities—free of any favoritism, precedent, or attachment that might be obscuring a clear picture of the situation.

To illustrate how the audit can play out, I thought I would share a couple of my own experiences with this process:

  • AdWords Overspending. Last year, we started working with a client who had already been advertising using Google’s AdWords for several months. They were spending a lot of money on all kinds of clicks; to them, that was a normal and predictable amount to spend every month. When we performed an audit of their PPC campaign, we discovered that by focusing on more targeted keywords and revisiting the copy, we could significantly lower their CPC and spend level while driving more targeted traffic at a higher conversion rate. The surplus budget from AdWords was recently put towards a telemarketing test – which has turned out to be a promising new lead generator.
  • In-store Marketing Overload: A different client recently asked a couple of us come out and visit his store for our marketing kickoff meeting. When we walked in the door, we noticed something right away: there was way too much in-store marketing. His store was crowded with signs, posters and displays—so many things all competing for our attention that we didn’t know where to look. When we brought this up to him, he told us that these advertisements had all been added gradually by his vendors; for him, the sensory overload wasn’t something he ever really noticed or thought about. An outside audit helped him to realize that in order for any of these advertisements to be effective, he needed to slim things down a lot.

These are just a couple examples, but they both illustrate why the marketing audit is a powerful and time-tested tool. Whether it’s your brand, your marketing channels, your ad budget, or the number of signs in your store, an audit can ensure that your plan is on the right track and that you’re not missing opportunities to improve.

Has your business ever had an outside audit? What was the result?

Charlie Nadler is the Marketing Strategist for Simple Machines Marketing, a Chicago marketing firm. Simple Machines works with a variety of small businesses in their area.

Enhanced by Zemanta

→ 2 CommentsTags:····

The magic is in the media mix

September 18th, 2012 · Media, Strategy

The other day I got a direct mail solicitation from Google.  Yes, that Google.

It was a good reminder me (and now to you too) that none of us can afford to get lazy when it comes to media mix.

If the King of Online recognizes the power of a printed piece, then we should probably pay attention too.

We know that people need to hear our message on average 8-13 times before they even notice we’re talking to them. But, in this age of being fascinated with all things digital — we need to remember to keep focused on creating a media mix — and that means adding some offline efforts into your overall marketing plan.

In fact, some are arguing that the hottest “new media” in terms of performance is direct mail.  We’ve all rushed away from printing anything.  Which means the mailbox is a lot less cluttered than an email inbox these days.

Best of all, by mixing your media, you can use one to point to the other.  Your direct mail can drive traffic to your website.  Your blog or FB page can encourage people to request a product sheet or attend a meet up at a trade show.  (Oh…you’d forgotten that face to face is a media too, didn’t you?)

As you plan your next campaign, consider these “old school” off line tactics and see how you can blend them into your media mix — and connect them to your shiny new digital efforts.

  • PR placed article in a trade pub — driving online trials
  • Face to face meetings that result from an email invite
  • Direct mail, driving them to an online video
  • Voicemail message, inviting them to a webinar
  • Radio spots inviting listeners to download a podcast
  • Hard copy white paper/article which introduces them to your online library of content

I’m not suggesting that you always need to cross promote between on and offline.  I just wanted to show you what’s possible.  And how going old school with your media mix should be part of your plan.  I don’t care how hip and cool what you sell may be.

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

→ 5 CommentsTags:·······

Have you built a marketing megaphone?

August 1st, 2012 · Business owner/leader stuff, Love affair with customers, Strategy, Word of Mouth · 9 Comments

I spent a few days in Vegas recently and the 24/7 chaos was overwhelming. It’s pure overload for all your senses – tons of people everywhere, driving billboards, TVs in the restrooms, a wide array of smells, and a cacophony of sounds at full volume. It’s a little like how we’re assaulted by marketing messages [Read more...]

Let’s talk business, social and joy!

February 25th, 2012 · Business owner/leader stuff, Love affair with customers, Social Media, Strategy · No Comments

I’m fortunate that I am invited to guest blog in some of the most prominent and cool spots on the web. Every once in awhile, those opportunities converge and it’s raining Drew‘s thinking everywhere you turn. Come join in these conversations around the web: Marketing Profs Daily Fix: In this post, I suggest that many business [Read more...]

The 5 things that will derail your marketing in 2012

February 8th, 2012 · Marketing, Strategy · 11 Comments

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but the truth is — most organizations’ marketing efforts stink.  And they stink for reasons well within the marketing department’s control. If you’re worried that your own efforts might fall short — beware of these five danger zones that can derail you in a blink! Inconsistency:  Does [Read more...]

How much should you spend on marketing?

September 15th, 2011 · Business owner/leader stuff, Strategy · 2 Comments

How much should you spend on marketing? I know I need to do some marketing but how much should I spend?  How much do other companies my size spend? This is probably one of the most asked questions of marketing agencies and consultants.  If you google the phrase, there are 17+ million results.  And yet, [Read more...]

How much should I spend on marketing?

October 11th, 2007 · Marketing, Strategy · 60 Comments

This is probably one of the most asked questions of marketing agencies and consultants.  If you google the phrase, there are almost 17 million results.  Guess it’s on peoples’ minds, eh? I think one of the reasons why it’s on everyone’s mind is because there is no magic answer.  Before we get into the methods [Read more...]