By Deborah Wroe

No, not as in ‘Why are we here?’, or ‘Is there a god?’. BUT more why are you doing what you are doing? What is the purpose? You can spend your marketing budget however you want, but before you start throwing money at a project you do need to ask yourself some fundamental questions.

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Are you advertising in the local paper because your competitors are? Or do you have a sudden desire to get on Twitter because everyone else is?
  • Do you know if your competitors are gaining business from that ad in the paper?
  • Are your customers or prospects on Twitter?
  • How will you know if it has worked?
  • Can you measure what you are doing?

You need to set goals and measure everything you do.

For example…you own a restaurant…do you ask people when they come in where they heard of you? When you take a booking do you ask the same question? What do you with the information? If you try coupons do they get people through the door? And do those who use the coupons make repeat visits? If you record all this information and analyse it you will have some good data to see what is working and what is not. A newspaper ad to a circulation of 10,000 may generate less sales than a targeted doordrop to 1,000, or a Twitter or Facebook only offer to 300 followers/fans.

Some business are blessed with creative people who come up with wacky ideas that may be fun, but is there a purpose and relevance to the brand? For example a hairdressers hosting a hotdog eating competition. All good fun it may seem, but how does this benefit the business? You could spend a lot of your budget, and staff time doing a stunt that gets you nothing more than a few column inches in a local paper. You could pay a Twitter ‘guru’ to buy you followers on Twitter, great if Twitter was about numbers, but it ain’t, it’s about conversation and engagement. Keep it relevant, know the purpose.

To get the most out of your marketing budget you need to test and refine, rinse and repeat. Your marketing budget will go much further if you know your purpose, keep it relevant and measure.