How to spend your precious marketing dollars

How to spend your marketing dollar-it’s aways an interesting conundrum. If you are following the rule book, roughly 5-13% of revenue should be going towards marketing, depending on if you are a B2B or B2C. According to the 2021 CMO Survey marketing budgets as a portion of business revenue were recorded at the highest level since February 2018 at 13.2%!

How to break up that marketing spend across the micro-functions, like advertising, promotion, events and PR, must be strategically planned to achieve the desired impact. Before the days of digital media, traditional advertising platforms like press, radio and signage dominated the advertising world and although they still serve a function, digital media is pretty dreamy for tighter budgets. In fact, results from 2021 CMO Survey saw businesses attributing digital media to a 32.7% performance increase from the year prior. Important to note here that digital media refers to more than just social media with companies investing in a raft of digital activity including website optimisation, paid search, machine learning and automation (a form artificial intelligence that predicts and analyses patterns in data) and A/B testing. To break down the tech speak future, A/B testing is an experimental process whereby techs push out two versions of a webpage to determine which version has the greatest impact on business metrics.

Making digital work for you

When it comes to any of these activities, social media included, businesses need to make the dollar work harder- a set and forget attitude never prevails. Content is king in the social media world and businesses need to look at attributing a decent portion of the budget to graphics, photography and copywriting.

Although it may have started out as a free tool, social media will fail to propel to dizzy heights if you don’t consider social advertising. Posts must be boosted if you want to reach your audience, pages must be advertised to increase following and ‘influencers’, despite what comes to mind when we think of these people (cue the duck face?) can offer the engagement and cut through your brand needs in a cluttered digital environment. Key point here; engagement with your customers is more important than the number of followers. Think of engagement as conversation with your customer at the checkout and followers as the people browsing the shop. 

Social advertising is a must

All too often we see clients reject the idea of paying a few hundred dollars on Facebook or Instagram to reach a precisely tailored demographic, yet they will prioritise an expensive promotional prize which sadly, may end up in the hands of prize pig (yes they are a thing). Looking at the measurability of your marketing dollar to determine ROI is best practice and digital media offers this in spades.

Social media trends and algorithms change more rapidly than any other marketing platform and it can be difficult to remain across it. While metrics and analytics were once freely available, data privacy laws have changed the face of these platforms and marketers now need paid tools, like Hootsuite to effectively analyse the effectiveness of campaigns. Outsourcing is a common approach to free businesses of social media pain, however it’s ideal to have at least one person in house who is across social media.

Key take aways to consider when spending your marketing dollar:

  • How much have you been allocated to spend and is it an appropriate percentage of business revenue?
  • Look at your allocation of spend vs ROI
  • Maximised your social media impact by seeing it as an advertising platform rather than a free tool.
  • Engagement is better than mass following
  • Use your metrics regularly and don’t be afraid to make changes to your campaign if you are not seeing a solid ROI.