You’ve heard the old saying … “Shoot where the ducks are flying”? Well, as it relates to advertising, in essence it means spend your money where it will do the most good. Think long and hard about a $10,000 trade show expense if you won’t see a speedy return on the investment. Watch out for those $100-300 sponsorship opportunities too … they add up pretty quick.
Should you spend money on marketing? well, Hell YES … just think about these two things when you write the check … and I’ve already mentioned one.
ROI … Return on Investment. How quickly will the money you spend return itself to you and don’t just calculate the money, but your time and an appropriate margin too. If you spent $1,500 on a print ad in a magazine or newspaper, spent 3 hours designing the ad, negotiating the price and delivering the materials and expect at least a 50% margin on anything you do … you need to recoup about $3,000 in profit before that effort is deemed worthwhile. And that’s PROFIT, not gross sales.
Measurement … another old saying, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. If you spend one thin dime on ANY advertising and don’t have a system to determine where EVERY single lead, prospect and eventual customer comes from, here is my advice … STOP! Stop until you put that system in place. You need to track all media … print, broadcast, word of mouth, outdoor, yellow pages (reduce that drastically by the way, but that’s a whole ‘nuther blog!) … online, social media, radio, cable and diner placemats! Yes … even diner placemats … if you buy them and nobody becomes a customer from reading one, stop doing them.
Now you can use something as simple as a contact management software, track them in your management system, or you could use a full blown a CRM program.
Customer Relationship Management is critical for making sure nobody falls through the cracks. There are expensive ones and free ones, but your own management system is probably the best. Just choose the one that works best for you … then become religious about its use. Whether you use your management system, Salesforce.Com or FreeCRM.Com, Sugar CRM or any one of the several dozen others available, make sure you use it like the tool it is.
Of course, that’s just my opinion … I could be wrong.
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Evans Media Group