By Craig Spooner
In a world of limited budgets, the most important question a marketing professional has to answer is this: “How do I decide which tactics will maximize my company’s return on investment (ROI) while cutting overall risk?” Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet that will work for all marketing campaigns, but I am happy to share 3 tips for maximizing your marketing ROI with a modest budget.
1) Maximize Each Content Investment
Your company works hard to deliver high-quality products and services, so make sure the world knows about them and your successes! Celebrating and promoting these successes externally can easily fall by the wayside. One way to make certain you capture your successes and maximize your content investments is by working with effective storytellers and engaging your existing brand champions to extend the reach of each success story.
Oftentimes the most powerful stories about your company come from your customers. How do you currently access their experiences and share them with a broader audience? Sometimes a delighted customer independently emerges as a brand champion, but many customers are too pressed for time to step forward. This is where an effective storyteller can reach out and elicit rich stories from your customers.
Good storytellers will help you articulate your story to a variety of audiences in a multitude of ways. Reaching your audience with a relevant message in the right context builds familiarity with your target audience and demonstrates that you are an expert in your field—a partner who can be trusted.
2) Invest in Proven Efforts
Chasing the latest “bright and shiny” tactic has led many a marketer to less-than-stellar results. It’s always exciting to try new technology—and taking a novel approach does sometimes pay off—but smart marketers hedge their bets by investing in proven efforts, too.
Proven efforts may not necessarily be glamorous, but they produce reliable results a majority of the time. One type of marketing tactic that fits well here is email marketing. Email marketing has been around longer than the Internet. Seriously. The first email-marketing message was sent on May 1, 1978, and was what we would now call spam.
I’m not suggesting that you should spam your database. What I am suggesting is to make smart investments in distributing the content you have so diligently created. Reaching your key prospects and leads at the right time with the right content further demonstrates your understanding of their needs, goals, and where exactly they are in their buyer’s journey.
3) Measure Your Marketing ROI
This step may sound obvious to some, but effectively measuring your marketing ROI is frequently overlooked. Often I ask clients in early meetings, “How will we know we have been successful?” The reason I ask this question is two-fold.
On one hand, it helps me to understand what’s important to them. Understanding what’s most important to the client allows me to better help them succeed and focus our efforts to make sure every dollar counts. The majority of the time, a combination of proven marketing efforts and new opportunities is the most successful and allows us to continue to test, learn, and adjust over time.
If the client’s response is fuzzy or not yet fully established, it gives us the opportunity to reach a consensus on what our key performance indicators (KPIs) are and assists us in setting realistic yet aggressive goals. Every campaign should have predetermined goals in mind, as well as identified and engaged KPIs.
Maximizing your marketing ROI isn’t as challenging or as elusive as some marketers would have you think. The real challenge is investing your time and budget where it makes the most sense for you and your target audience—and doing so consistently over time. Success builds upon success, and marketing follows this formula as much as most aspects of the work we all do on a daily basis.
Thank you for sharing!