Often when marketers are planning and budgeting for communications campaigns, they want to include as many different activities as possible. They think:
“We want to be on TV since it has the most impact. But we need to use more digital ads because everyone is online and they are measurable. I heard email produces the highest ROI, so we need some of it. We’ve got to be using social media because it is growing. Let’s try some retargeting so we can stay in front of people that have indicated an interest by visiting our website. And we shouldn’t forget PR! It’s like free advertising.”
And so on.
Many marketers use modest amounts of many different tools, trying to do each with the least amount of money. Guess what happens? It leads to huge inefficiencies, because many of the marketing dollars are pumped into tools that have little to no impact on sales. What’s worse: The limited amount of funds allocated for the most productive tools lose the impact they could have had, had they been fully funded.
We were inspired to write our book, Put Your Mouth Where the Money Is, to help marketers better allocate their resources to improve effectiveness — hence the subtitle, How to Refocus Marketing Communications for the Greatest Impact on Sales. We wanted to give marketers simple steps to make their resources go as far as possible. You can learn more about the book here.
It’s important, first, for marketers to get a sense of which activities and tools are having the greatest and least impact on sales. That’s relatively simple for many companies selling directly to end-users; more challenging for those who are not.
Secondly, marketers should make a concerted effort to get the best information possible. That means tracking activities from various sources as far as possible down the path towards purchase (e.g. clicking the dealer locator link or downloading a rebate coupon on the website is closer to a sale than simply visiting the website.) Being advocates of Real Connection™, we also believe strongly in the power of talking to new customers to learn what they were exposed to, their path to purchase and why they purchased. It’s also important to contact lost customers to learn why they left.
We’ve spent decades helping brands connect with their customers in meaningful, lasting ways. In that time, we’ve learned the importance of not trying to do as many things as possible, as inexpensively as possible. Determine what you can do to be incredible at two or three of the most productive marketing communications activities, and watch what happens.