‘Ruining' is a provocative word! It’s full of emotion and anticipated disappointment. It makes you stand up and pay attention. No one intentionally ruins things. Certainly not a hard earned marketing budget.
Recently, I came across an article in MarketingProfs that included several common mistakes most marketers make that are 'ruining' their budgets. I wasn't sure what to expect from the article - was it going to tell me how to avoid eternal marketing spend damnation by properly allocating my Google and LinkedIn ad spend?
Thankfully, no. But it does give useful pointers on how to avoid WASTING marketing budget. Which is maybe the next best thing to avoiding eternal damnation.
The author identifies 7 tips, and they are all good. Three points really stood out for me:
1. Don’t target only high-level executives.
Not too long ago marketers focussed almost exclusively on targeting high-level executives. That’s who they wanted to sell to. Marketers today need to first attract the attention of the people who are searching on behalf of the executives who make the 'buy' decisions. Often these are more junior people. Don’t discount their importance in the process. If you do, you won't get the opportunity to sell to the senior people - because you won't even be at the table. Get your opportunity to seal the deal at the senior level by first opening the door at the junior level.
2. Don't focus solely on generating new leads.
We all agree, new leads and new clients are sexy and exciting. I get it, but the data on the success of lead nurturing is ironclad. There are plenty of case study examples including this recent list from BarnRaisers which clearly shows why the return on investment (ROI) for nurturing leads is critical, no matter what industry you are in. It costs a lot less to keep and grow an existing customer than it costs to attract a new one.
When Mezzanine runs campaigns for clients, almost 100 percent of the campaigns that target existing clients return higher ROI than campaigns that pursue new clients. That’s not to say that you don’t want to go after new clients - of course you always need to be growing your funnel, but don’t neglect what’s in your backyard.
3. Not having an adaptive strategy.
The articles’ author also focuses on not having an adaptive strategy or adjusting to changes in data and technologies. I think 'not having a plan for evaluating new ideas, technologies and concepts' is more accurate. I see a lot of fear in the market about experimentation and trying new things.
Companies that don’t try new things on a regular basis, quickly stagnate - and find themselves completely out of date within a few years. In my experience, it’s far better to plan to experiment and acknowledge that some years you'll have more duds than home-runs. Other years, you'll find new and powerful ways to knock your marketing goals out of the park. I believe this is a solid way to manage expectations and consistently improve. At what rate should you plan to experiment? I think ten to fifteen percent of your annual budget is a reasonable amount.
One last thing that I think is a huge budget-waster to avoid:
Not fully utilizing/multiplying content marketing investments.
Everything old is new again and long form content is gold when you are looking to build on your marketing investments. If you aren’t refreshing and repurposing existing material across multiple mediums and channels, you are wasting your hard earned budget. Always plan to take snippets of content from longer pieces to share across your platforms. For every dollar you spend on developing original content, spend $10 on repurposing and distributing it in a new fresh way. The results may surprise you.
Looking for more on how you can better maximize your B2B budget, not ruin it? Contact us for insights.