01 Sep How To Optimise Your Marketing Spend
Optimising your marketing spend without sacrificing your performance
As we’re all aware, the current macroeconomic situation has ensured that everything has increased in cost, and marketing is no different. As we head into the last quarter of the year, a lot of organisations will now be looking for opportunities to cut spending – and sadly, marketing is almost always one of the first to go.
We’ll always be the first to shout about how important it is to reinvest in marketing during a period of recession (and if you don’t want to just take our word for it, check out why Harvard Business Review thinks the same). However, we know that not every brand or organisation will be able to. So, instead, we’re looking at the ways to approach your marketing spend in a recession (or in any event of cost saving!)
There are plenty of ways to reduce your marketing spend or, rather, maintain your existing return on investment by optimising your existing marketing activity.
Establish the existing and aspirational campaign performance and/or return on investment
It’s worth having an aspirational ROI to determine what you are hoping the outcome of your campaign will be vs what you are willing to put upfront cost-wise.
Now ROI is tricky, if you are in a competitive industry then you may find your digital campaign (as an example) costs on average more per click than a different industry. If your target is to have 100 clicks through from an advert, you may achieve this but it will cost £1000. However the clicks may convert to the sale of one £1000 piece of machinery, as it’s a highly-targeted, very specific advert, so it depends on what you are wanting the outcome to be. It’s also worth considering that if you are getting the numbers you want, then it’s time for the next part of the campaign, whereby you look at ways to reduce the cost per click.
Plus, campaigns aren’t always about ROI, sometimes changing the consumers’ perspective of a product or perception of a brand is just as important and these things don’t necessarily translate directly to sales. Social Media for example is a great example of a format that can be used as a brand awareness tool but doesn’t translate to a sale as much as PPC does for example.
Review your existing costs
In the first instance, review how much you can spend as a business. No matter whether you use multiple channels or primarily focus on one single channel, you should review how much budget you’re currently committing to it, and what you can afford to spend going forward. If you’re unsure of how much to allocate, it might be helpful to take a look at our previous blog which covers a breakdown of marketing spend per sector.
If it has been a while since you did a full marketing audit, now is the time. Evaluate all of your channels and ensure they are still working as expected. It’s usually at this stage that a lot of brands who aren’t willing to cease all activity will look for an opportunity to reduce the spend in one area, whether that be through changing the format or specifications (if you were reviewing an offline channel, for example), or reducing spend allocated to the online platforms that are utilised primarily for brand awareness not sales. Your marketing audit will help decide which channels need some attention or can be paused in the interim.
Do an audience audit
Taking a long hard look at your data might help uncover opportunities to better approach your customers. This might be a new strategy for segmenting your audience, as technologies change and advance, consumer preferences also change as to which platform they prefer to be communicated with. Investing in a consumer profile (or contacting us for a free one) would be helpful to ensure you are targeting the right customer.
If your target market is likely to stay the same in terms of age/gender, then ensure you have chosen the right marketing paths for their preferences. Social media platforms for example, tend to be interacted with differently by each age group, are you using the same social platform for the age group that you were using five years ago? There’s a good chance your user group will now be primarily on a different platform.
Looking at industry averages
Benchmarking your return on investment by looking at the industry averages for response rates, engagement, and any other metrics you use to measure the success of your campaigns.
There are numerous industry bodies who measure and monitor the way people engage with different channels, whose data you can use to gather insight on you audiences, guide your targeting and content, and benchmark your campaigns against. For online marketing, Ruler Analytics provide this handy guide to conversion rates.
In the world of mail, the Joint Industry Committee for Mail (JICMAIL) measures how people engage with all kinds of mail once it arrives in the home. As one of the first platinum JICMAIL partners, we at Webmart use this data to help guide targeting and more when working with our customers on their mail.
A/B testing is still the best way to try out what works for you. Perhaps you think it might be using a video in your social post, but actually it’s a carousel gallery. Or instead of lengthy HTML emails, perhaps your audience like snappy plain-text ones. You can even keep the majority of content the same but mix up the tone of the copy or CTA. For the same cost you’ve already allocated, simply split your audience in half and try both versions with each. A/B testing will help define your offering and eliminate what doesn’t work. Be sure to give it enough time for the test to work, for conversions wait until you have at least 1000 and for emails, ensure you have waited at least 12 hours.
Marketing – An integrated approach
Integrated marketing is still the best methodology when launching a campaign. Having all of your platforms (both online and offline) working together, will get you the best results every time. This also happens to be our speciality; providing integrated campaigns that will save you money in the long run. Have a chat to us today for a no-obligation quote.
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