Are Your Marketing Dollars Being Spent Wisely? Here are 8 Questions to Ask.

Often CEOs are removed from the day to day marketing efforts and have a hard time knowing for sure if the investment in marketing is being spent wisely or not.  Not to mention that marketing tactics are changing faster than most people can catch up, how can you possibly know if you are spending the money in the best way possible today, even if you were yesterday?

Here’s 8 questions that every CEO can ask their team to help identify where improvements need to be made.

1. Do you have a plan?

Our experience shows that the most time wasted in marketing comes when you don’t have and are not following a plan.  A marketing plan makes sure that you are all rowing in the same direction and that your marketing efforts are integrated.

If you don’t have a marketing plan, sit down with your leadership team and develop one.  It should include the goals you have for your marketing, how you will measure its success, what your marketing message is (that is, why someone should do business with you over all their other choices), who your ideal prospects are and why, and the channels you plan to use to get the message to them.  Once the plan is complete, schedule time (at least quarterly) to evaluate the actions.

If you don’t feel your team is equipped to facilitate this, contact MEMO to help you through the process.

2. Are you developing qualified leads?

Most companies waste money because they have a shotgun approach to their marketing efforts.  If you spend the time to talk about who is an ideal fit for your business, then you should also spend time developing a list of qualified leads to target.

In our vernacular, a qualified lead is a person who (through proper research) we know we would be a good fit for them, but they may not realize it yet themselves.  The goal of your marketing should be to get them to believe you could be a good fit and want more information to find out.  Then they become a prospect.

Being laser focused with your qualified leads and what you are trying to do with them is what you need to do to make the most of your marketing dollars.

3. Are you following up on your leads?

It’s certainly one thing to identify people whose problems you know you would be a good fit to solve, but it’s another thing to continue a process of educating them as to why you would be a fit.

Often people don’t understand the problems they have, or they may think they have a different problem than you think they do.  Or they may be willing to invest to fix one problem, but not another.

Your marketing efforts should uncover all the problems your solution solves, and share those with the qualified lead strategically.  That often takes consistent, focused effort over time.  When they have a sense of urgency to fix the problem, they will be ready to learn more about how you solve that problem.

Make sure your marketing program educates your prospects and keeps you in front of them so when they are ready to fix the problem, they will also be ready to talk with you.

4. Are you communicating regularly with existing clients?

This is an area that businesses often forget.  They set their sights on the new hunt and forget the ones that are already bought into you and how you can help them. 

There are so many ways to optimize your marketing by focusing on existing clients.  You can offer them solutions to other problems, you can get them to buy solutions more often, or you can get them to solve their problems in bigger ways.

In addition, satisfied, existing clients are great referral partners.  If they were a good fit for you, then more than likely they know others who would be too.

Don’t leave out existing clients in your ongoing marketing efforts.

5. Are you investing more dollars on overhead or activities?

Hiring in-house marketing resources can be expensive.  Counting salary, insurance, vacation, taxes, equipment, and training, you are making a major investment just to have that person walk into your office.

In addition, your marketing needs will change over the course of the year.  Having in-house employees with specific set skills hinders your flexibility to pivot as your needs change.  What happens is you end up spending money on people with skills you don’t need 40 hours per week / 52 weeks per year.

One option would be to consider outsourcing your marketing to pay only for activities that grow your business, and not the people and their loaded costs to do the activities.

6. Are you developing relationships or transactions?

It’s easy to get fixed on the sale and not on the relationship, but doing so can make the investment to get the sale very unprofitable.  If you can’t turn the investment into more work down the road, then you aren’t optimizing your marketing dollars.

Continue to find ways to invest in the relationship well beyond the initial transaction.  You might be surprised at the payoff.

7. Are your marketing materials kept up to date?

Many times, some of your best work stories go untold because you aren’t continually updating your marketing materials.  Most companies continue to hone their skills with increasingly better examples of how they solve problems.  It’s important you are able to tell those stories by putting your best foot forward.

Additionally, when you choose to ignore ongoing updates, and then decide to update your materials later, the project is now so big it can often be too expensive to “redo”. 

Develop a simple process to keep your materials fresh and up to date on a consistent basis.

8. Are you measuring everything you do?

The only real way to know for sure that your marketing investment is being spent wisely is to measure the results of everything you do.  That requires you to set goals for each action (see item #1) and track the outcome.  You might be surprised at what is working and what isn’t.

If you find these questions do not get you the answers you hoped for, and would like some help addressing these issues, give us at MEMO a call for a free, no obligation meeting to discuss if we could be a fit for one another.

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