What Kind of Marketing is the Best Use of My Resources?
I was doing an online live workshop recently, and in advance of it, I ran a poll to see what additional topics people wanted me to cover during the Q&A sections. The winner? By a landslide, the most requested topic was: What kind of marketing is the best use of my resources? Every decision in business is about using your limited resources to gain the best results – the classic case of the best return on investment (ROI) – and it’s a concern that every company faces, but one that impacts smaller and medium businesses (SMBs) the most. Like with my online audience, let’s break down what decisions you need to make in your marketing to best use your limited resources.
Understanding Your Business’s Resources
First, it’s important to know what’s on the line. Your business’s resources are finite, and they are also different from everyone else’s – even your competitors. It’s important not to fixate on any single one and understand that the resources you take for granted might be your most valuable ones.
Money: The First on Everyone’s Mind
When talking to the workshop, everyone’s first thought was the bottom line. Money – profits, gross income, overhead, budgets, etc. – are the first and foremost for many businesses, especially when the owner/operator also handles the financials. How much you can budget to marketing – from running ads to outsourcing work – contributes to the scale and scope but may not be your biggest resource risk.
Time: The Most Valuable Resource
However, many owners overlook the time investment that marketing can be. Most marketing fails not because of mismanagement or bad planning, but because companies don’t have the time to sustain it. If your marketing goals and plans are larger than the time you and your staff can devote to it, it will be DOA.
Expertise: Changes How to Handle Marketing
Lastly, a big modifier to your marketing will be the experience and expertise of your marketing department. If you want to write blogs, do you have someone with the experience to write engaging and SEO-friendly content and have an understanding of your products? Is the owner willing to associate their face with their brand? What sets you apart from your competition that you can capitalize on?
Finding the Answers to Marketing Questions
Next, it’s important to answer some questions about your marketing goals. Stepping away and being able to look at hard questions and answers can give you a better idea on what your true goals are (and where to spend resources).
- What are Your Business Goals? Where is your business now, and where is it going? If you’re looking at marketing because your business is in trouble, it’s a very different need then if you’re looking to grow your brand. Discover your goals.
- What is Your Marketing Trying to Achieve? What do you need your marketing to do? Getting people to your website and improving your online presence can be met with very different marketing. Figure out how you need your marketing to impact your business.
- Who Does Your Company Serve? Who uses your products and services? B2B and B2C have very different marketing options, and different customer audiences take appeals to emotion or reason differently.
- What is Your ICP? Your ICPs – or Ideal Client Profiles – can help you find your demographics, which are ideal for advertising and keywords. Don’t simply look at your current customer base, but what customers could provide the highest ROI.
- Where Do They Make Their Buying Decisions? Lastly, it’s important to get into the shoes of your customers. When looking for your product, how would they find it? Where do they work and play online? Finding these places can inform your social media and online presence strategies.
Branding: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Besides inaction, the other major waste of resources is due to chasing trends. Have friends telling you that Instagram is where it’s at? That doesn’t mean your business can thrive or even survive there. It’s important to focus on your business goals and find the marketing solutions that are tailored to meet that goal and that you can support with your limited time, budget, and expertise. Don’t chase things for the sake of being new, but only if they align with your needs and abilities.
The resources, needs, and marketing of every business are different. What’s important is that you lay the groundwork by assessing your resources and marketing environment to know where your efforts are best spent. Sometimes the best starting point is marketing consultation and marketing plans with a specialized agency. Working with a comprehensive marketing agency like Vision Advertising can provide you with the perspective, expertise, and outsourced marketing to free up your personal resources to running your business. Contact us today.