Strategy : Rethinking Resource Allocation
5 steps to a wiser marketing budgetOctober 2013 By German Sacristan
Money is an imperative marketing ingredient—you need it to drive sales. At the same time, money cannot guarantee success on its own. It is not only about how deep your marketing pockets are, but how you are going to invest that money.
For example, the excitement about the vast number of media channels available today can cause even seasoned marketers to commit their marketing budgets to specific media channels before forming a solid strategy. This happens when marketers try to attribute sales (success) to single, specific channels to determine which ones are the best. This is like trying to identify what single customer visit drove a sale within a long sales cycle the sales rep executed. It is not just the individual channels that make marketing successful, but the strategy behind them.
Allocating marketing budget to channels without a clear strategy is fundamentally wrong—it's putting the cart before the horse. All media channels can be great enablers, but they cannot sell your products and services without the right strategy behind them.
Without a proper strategy, media channel criteria are often based on pure cost, instead of return on marketing investment; speed, instead of sales productivity; and quantity of contacts, instead of quality. Some media channels cost less than others, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are cheaper. Some channels are faster to implement than others, but that doesn't guarantee they will bring you more sales. Some channels hit very large quantities of people, but that doesn't mean they are your prospects or that you are contacting them in the most effective way.
The right strategy drives the right activities and the right media channel selections, helping you distribute your marketing budget in the most effective way.
How to Invest Wisely
A marketing strategy is built on what you sell and where you sell it. What are your value proposition and unique selling points (USPs)? Who will appreciate buying what you sell, and what do you need to know from them to be relevant and helpful? How are you going to impress your targets so they want to do business with you?
Accurately answering these questions will help you build a clear path towards what to say, to whom, where, when and how: