Choosing A Marketing Partner
Marketing tips

Marketing Is An Investment to Increase Revenue, Not a "Cost"

Dominic Sergi

Everyone wants to scale their business.

This applies to startups and local businesses and multi-billion dollar corporations. “I don’t want to increase revenue,” said no business owner ever.

What’s the secret sauce to scaling a business? Marketing. If you don’t invest in your marketing, all your other efforts won’t amount to much. If people don’t know what you do and are not compelled to consider using your brand or service, everything else is just a waste of time.

You don’t have to get this tattooed but try to not forget this simple truth. Every company that’s dominating their sector did it through marketing. Every brand that’s a household name made it through marketing.

Also, every purchasing decision you’ve ever made was someone else’s marketing success.

Every brand that’s killing it, did it because they scaled their marketing to amplify their reach and increase customer engagement.

Learning from the bigwigs

If you’re a 75-year-old brand that’s facing stiff competition from new entrants, you’ve multiple problems to solve.

To begin with, Old Spice was always considered a “dad’s brand.” Sure, everyone knew about it but it was too fuddy-duddy.

So, how did Procter & Gamble handle it? They doubled down on their marketing.

The now legendary “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign changed everything for Old Spice.

From a staid aftershave, the brand suddenly became the talk of the town. For a new generation, it became irresistibly cool.

We know what some of you are thinking. “That’s nice but did it make any impact on sales?” “You know what really matters is not some YouTube likes but hard cash.”

So, did it bring in more moolah for Procter & Gamble?

Let’s see.

Sales increased by *checking notes* nothing much, just a whopping 125%!

From Procter & Gamble, let’s head to their arch-rival, Unilever.

The company rolled out a marketing campaign for its skincare brand, Dove, in 2004. Deviating from the usual hourglass-beauty norms, Dove began to market itself as the brand for “Real Women.”

Accepted and appreciated worldwide, the highly successful campaign took the brand from $2.5 billion to around $4 billion.

What’s significant about these examples is that the companies didn’t pause or dilute their marketing once it started working.

No, they scaled it up further.

Old Spice has only increased its marketing spend while Dove has taken their marketing to every nook and corner of the world.

They’re consistent in their efforts. Procter & Gamble spends around $100 million to market Old Spice. Dove too spends around that much every year.

They do it because they know that marketing isn’t a cost. It’s an investment in scaling your business.

An iPhone or a Volkswagen isn’t just about design or performance. Successful companies don’t just build great products. They go all out to study their markets, launch campaigns, create awareness, increase engagement, raise conversion, and boost retention.

In other words, successful companies know that they can’t be just good at design, production, or distribution. They also have to be great at marketing.

So, what can you learn from these companies? How can your marketing consistently be effective? How can it generate the kind of digital returns that only big brands seem to get?

To make it easy for you, here’s a three-step guide to making marketing work for you.

4 tactics to increase your marketing effectiveness

1. You need a plan

Wishful thinking and retrospective analyses are what people usually confuse with plans.

To make sure that your marketing does its job, you need to know what its exact job is. This means that you’ve to know how much you’re planning to spend, and what you expect to achieve with those spends.

“Staying the course” and “industry average” and “past performances” are too vague. You need to set a credible target, allocate necessary funds, regularly monitor it, and watch how it all plays out.

We’re talking numbers here.

In other words, it’s calculation time.

The standard practice in business is to spend around 11 percent of the budget on marketing.

Let’s round it off to 12 percent of the revenue.

Now, the key here is that it’s about your expected revenue and not existing revenue.

Your revenue should be what you can realistically expect within a given period. For that, you can look at the industry trends. This is especially true if you’re getting into serious e-commerce mode for the first time.

If you have a target of $1 million in revenue by year-end, your marketing budget will be 12 percent of that, or $120,000. That’s your spend for the whole year which can be allocated over both traditional and online platforms.

Here’s something you need to keep in mind.

This is your marketing budget for an individual brand against its expected revenue. If you have multiple brands in your kitty (good for you!), you need to do it individually for each brand. Otherwise, you may lose sight of what’s working and what’s not.

Now that you know how much you want to make and how much you’re willing to spend to make it happen, it’s time to understand what has helped you in the past.

2. Know What Works

Even if you’ve never taken marketing seriously (we need to talk), you would know that some things work better than others.

You may have realised that sales are high during certain months or clients are more eager to respond through certain channels.

This will show you that some strategies are more effective than others. It will also reveal hidden inefficiencies. You need to correct those before you start your marketing drive.

For example, you may have noticed that your emails have low open-rates or that a particular social media channel is more effective than others. That will give you focus areas and action opportunities.

So, for emails, low open-rates is a focus area. The action opportunity is to try out better email content, subject lines, and pre-headers. You will also have to do A/B testing to see which one works.

Why do they call it an A/B test, you ask? Thanks for asking. You see, you don’t get paid for saying “testing what works.”

(Thank your stars that we’re not asking you to do “omnichannel organic reach” or “pre-saturation social blast,” both of which I certainly did not make up just now.)

Getting back to the task at hand, you also need to define your sales cycle and opportunity.

How long does it last? Where do you get most of your leads from? What’s their response rate? What’s the average ticket size?

Yes, I know it’s a lot but you have to do it to get a clearer picture.

Importantly, this will tell you what you have to do to fasten the process. With this, you’ll know how to increase your conversion rates.

3. Simplify Marketing Management

Anything you do in business creates data.

And by that I mean, a lot of data. If you were running a marketing campaign, you’ll be flooded with data from multiple platforms. What was supposed to make your job easier will become a job instead.

Your email response rates are on a different platform while your website conversion rates are on a different system.

Ever seen a digital marketing dashboard?

All these make it impossible to objectively analyse what’s working, and what you need to focus on. Businesses somehow take it for granted that they have to depend on several platforms and different metrics to make sense of it.

The single biggest thing you can do to make your marketing effective is to streamline and simplify the incoming data.

You should focus on a primary metric that matters the most to you. It could be the number of website visitors, users who sign up, marketing spends on various channels, revenue per customer, or the conversion rate.

The dashboard should also be able to do a lot on its own. It should send messages to your prospects, warn you if the process takes too long, and tell you if the numbers are on target or not.

Most of your regular tasks should be put on autopilot that doesn’t require your intervention. Essentially, it should simplify things. That’s when your marketing gets automated.

4. Invest in your assets

This is the number one mistake that most businesses make in their digital marketing campaigns.

They are more interested in investing in social media platforms than in their core digital assets.

They increase their advertising budgets for Facebook and Instagram while neglecting to build their websites and work on SEO.

You may not believe this but Mark Zuckerberg isn’t on food stamps. You don’t have to help out those giants. They are already rich.

Any of those platforms can change their algorithms at any moment.

In fact, they do it all the time.

As you invest more in them, you’re becoming more at their mercy. You’re dependent on their rules, and their permissions. If they don’t like your post, they can take it down. If they don’t like your image, they can remove it.

So, instead of chasing those fancy numbers by repeatedly investing in them, why not spend it on your website? Get experts to look at the architecture of your website, improve its user experience, and keep investing in high-quality content.

Instead of driving traffic to your social media handles, focus on your SEO game and move up in rankings. Your customers should find you directly. Make your website the hub of all your digital marketing efforts. Drive traffic to your asset and not someone else’s.

In Short

Aside from all these, you should also watch out for your competition. But don’t get too caught up in trying to imitate your competitors. You’re here to scale your business.

No matter what business you’re in, whether it’s B2B or B2C, know that you’re a marketer.

Everything else depends on your ability to invest in and manage your marketing. That’s what helps you scale consistently. And that’s when the magic happens.

Did You Know?

We can estimate a competitor’s ad spend & SEO investment using a range of powerful software tools, so you can get a good idea of your probability of success BEFORE investing money! Find out what’s possible to grow your business online by claiming a free proposal now. Get A Free Proposal

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Static and dynamic content editing

Static and dynamic content editing

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Dominic Sergi
Dom is a co-founder at Local Digital. Google Ads is his #1 game and driving ad spend efficiencies his aim. He's also well versed in all things digital marketing, sales and business growth.

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