At the top of my list of things that should never be uttered in a marketing meeting is “because we’ve always done it this way” and “we’ll be the first in our industry to do it.” These are simply not acceptable answers to the most important marketing questions that you should ask yourself before you incur any marketing expense.
Think of marketing as a type of investment. While rates of return and maturation periods vary, a sound investment plan should ultimately help you meet financial goals. Likewise each marketing dollar spent should net you returns if marketing expenses are carefully considered and key questions are thoughtfully answered.
What is the expense and what are the proposed benefits? What type of return can you expect? If you are paying tens of thousands of dollars on an event sponsorship and only getting a couple of logo placements in return, you aren’t getting very much for your money.
Who does this marketing endeavor reach? You may have found cheap advertising in Gardening Now magazine, but that’s only a good thing if your best clients and most desired prospects are gardening enthusiasts.
If you haven’t taken the time to identify who your best clients are, do it now – figure out what they have in common and how to find more of the same. While looking for new clients don’t forget about existing client development – a happy client is one of your best at marketing tools.
How much success have you had with similar events in the past? Perhaps you have created many fruitful referral relationships from alumni events?
How will business growth result? Is it something tangible like opening a new matter or something a little less measurable like increased brand equity?
Where does the expense fit into your marketing and business plans? If it isn’t a perfect fit a few alterations might do the trick. Or not. Be realistic.
When do you throw in the towel on an event? When do you stop courting that big prospect? Do your homework on how much you might gain, and how much you would be willing to spend to get it. Know your limits and when to pull the plug.
Do not be afraid to re-evaluate long-standing marketing efforts. Your business, and the world in which it operates, evolves and so should your marketing practices. After all, as the markets and your financial goals change, do you not have your investment plan revised?
When do you try something completely new? As with a new type of investment you should wait until you are comfortable. You can search the Internet or ask a marketing professional to help become more familiar with new marketing methodologies and technologies. New isn’t always good, but it isn’t always bad either.
So, why should you move forward with your marketing endeavor? Because asking these questions has allowed you to make the decision based on value and return on investment instead of emotion or complacency.