The real cost of marketing your business

Shopping TrolleyFor a lot of businesses the cost of marketing can be daunting. Especially if you’re just starting up something new, the pressure really is on to allocate a significant budget towards marketing. You might have the most wonderfully lucrative NEW ‘thing’ you’re sure will be a winner, but if no-one knows about it, you may as well give up.

So what are the options?

  1. You try a bit of marketing DIY
  2. You invest as little as possible in the cheapest marketing ’professional’ you can find
  3. You decide to go all out and hire a top marketing agency (thinking – surely it must be worth it)

Let’s look at the pros and cons of these options:

Yellow crosshairsThe trouble with option 1 – Marketing DIY

Well this is obvious – do you know how to, where to and to who? In all marketing a lot of success comes from doing some digging, researching the competition, and finding out how you really can be ‘different’.

Ok, so with a bit of online research – that’s done. Next stage is ‘where’ do I put these messages?

Understanding all the different uses each marketing channel has can be time consuming, looking at how to use social media in your campaign for instance generally results in a daunting conclusion – ‘let’s just stick to traditional marketing channels’. You’ve just missed a trick! Because every good marketer will tell you…

ALL channels are important

Ok, so next stage – who to? Well here’s the thing, this is actually the first stage, but most DIY marketers leave this bit till last – which is why their marketing falls flat. Who to market to is the key – your target audience(s) needs to be talked to in a way that they understand, and with clear messages that address their specific need or pain. Without this knowledge you could have the most eye catching message in the world on your marketing but if it means nothing to the people you’re directing it at, you’ve missed your target in one fell swoop.

Invest in a marketing professionalSo maybe try option 2… invest in a so called ‘marketing professional’

Ok, so there are a multitude of ‘budget’ marketers out there, so many in fact that the choice can seem like choosing your favourite sweet. You decide on what looks like a tasty option but just like a bad ‘revel’, it could leave you with a terrible aftertaste, and one that could cost you dearly. This option usually creates such a negative attitude towards marketing that you decide to either go back to option 1 or just give up! The trouble with a budget marketer lies in their lack of experience, usually fresh out of Uni, with text book skills and little or no real life knowledge. Not such a ‘cheap’ option then!

Hire a top marketing agencyWell maybe plump for option 3 then… hire a top agency

After all, what can go wrong with this option? You’ve chosen a very reputable marketing agency, they wow you over with inflated achievements and attempt to justify their even more over inflated charges – because only the best marketing will do, and that comes at a price (hmmmm). Now I’m not decrying these agencies, or suggesting they don’t know their stuff. However, the basic rule of thumb with any marketing is this…

You have to suck it and see

Because marketing has to appeal to a specific target audience that does not mean that everyone in that audience will ‘get’ your messages, and want to engage with you enough to become a customer or client.

Because of this, most campaigns will be multi-channel, and have 2 or more variations running simultaneously or back to back with tracking devices to see which attracts the most.

All this costs right?

Real cost of marketing is doing nothing at allMaybe, but the real cost of marketing – is not doing any at all. Clearly without any marketing, what you do won’t sell. And getting marketing wrong will also cause you more damage than good. There are individuals who have flown the nest of large agencies, taking with them all the secrets of successful multi-channel
marketing, all the knowledge and understanding of different target audiences, and who’s skills have created a portfolio of marketing achievements for companies who believe in them to improve their ROI.

Look for experience every time.

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