4 min read
What’s the first cut?
A client told me that it’s always the marketing budget when a company is suffering financially.
Being a marketing professional, at the time I nodded but disagreed in my head. It seemed to be an obvious trend. Businesses did not have enough data to see the power of marketing 10 years ago.
But in this decade, companies have done just the opposite and succeeded in turning around their profit charts.
Marketing is a vertical in its own right and not something that sales professionals do on the side.
Your audience can know about you even before you have a product ready for launch.
Just ask Apple users waiting for hours in line before the launch of a new phone. What drives them to camp for hours outside the store beats me. But it’s a testimony to the power of targeted marketing.
You have more mediums to reach your audience than you can manage.
This paradox of choice only iterates the importance of marketing budget today.
The best you can do as a business is to invest time and money into creating a well-researched marketing budget for your company.
Here are some advantages of a budget:
#1 It Allows Exploration
Digital mediums are so dynamic that if you miss an update you may end up investing in platforms or tools that are irrelevant to your business. A budget that has the provision of testing new mediums can lower the cost of reaching your target audience.
For instance, IGTV is being viewed as a threat to Youtube because Instagram has 1 billion active users already. (Source)
This is news for companies working with video content. Being able to explore this option means you’ve got to plan your marketing spends right.
#2 It Aids Product Development
It isn’t surprising that many companies struggle to stay current with their core offering.
Market research is an ignored spend and one that can change your perception about client needs.
Building marketing channels where your customers can tell you what they really want is a long-term investment and one that is crucial.
Budgeting for surveys, product feedback, testers and actions that aid product development is vital to staying relevant every day.
#3 It Tells You ROI and Future Goals
A study by Nielsen Analytic Consulting showed that the average ROI for marketing that generated sales within three months of the investment was $109 returned for every $100 spent. Or a 9 percent ROI.
But the ROI for online was $218 returned for every $100 spent.
Or a 118 percent return.
If your planning is explicit, each channel should have a unique ROI.
It is a given that in marketing not everything is measurable. Brand reputation or mind space captured is an effect of a good marketing plan but it’s also intangible.
But what is measurable, like conversions with a particular digital ad, should be captured and used for optimizing your future business plans.
Once you start seeing a substantial response from any of the mediums you will know where to invest next. Basing your decisions on solid numbers combined with intuition is one of the best strategies in business.
#4 It’s Great For Sales
As a business, it is your job to do everything you can to help your sales team, even before they approach a client.
One way to do this is to factor-in brand building activities in your marketing strategy.
If your client already has an image of your brand, it can make conversions for your sales team an easy affair.
Take, for example, Tesla. Over half a million people across the globe have pre-booked the Model 3 even before they see it or get a test drive.
A lot of marketers believe that Tesla has a zero-budget marketing strategy. But how is it such a well-known brand then?
It garnered international headlines by launching its Roadster model into space. Although not a direct marketing strategy it was brilliant. Every single news channel had to cover this unique event.
Obviously, launching a car into space is an expensive affair in itself.
And if you ask me, it was a landmark marketing strategy.
Which medium to use and how is a question that needs an in-depth understanding of what your brand wants to achieve. Disruptive marketing ideas can pop up at any time.
Creating a marketing budget might be the best decision for your brand today.