A few days ago Manipura Inc., a Barbadian company whose board I sit on, held its second board meeting. It was a great reminder about the importance of designing lean and effective marketing strategies.
We were going over the monthly financials and got to a point where expenses spiked. “What’s that huge expense there?” someone asked. “The fee for the marketing company and the web developer,” responded the CEO.
“How is the marketing company helping to get sales in the door?”
The conversation turned towards analyzing the marketing strategy proposed by the company. None could figure out how the present strategy could help generate sales quickly and efficiently. If the marketing strategy couldn’t help generate sales, Manipura would be paying more in marketing expenses than the company would be generating in revenue. That was not practical for any business.
Marketing strategies should be cost effective and designed to help businesses grow to the next level. This means that as a prudent marketer one needs to look at the objectives of the business and then develop marketing objectives and a marketing budget based on those overall goals. “You want to make $50,000 in sales over the month of August? I’m going to show you how marketing is going to help you reach that goal at a minimal expense.”
Too often marketers “bounce” in with talk of fancy ads and social media without clear thought about if these are really the most effective use of company resources. Where are the fancy ads being placed? Will they be in publications/on websites my target group is likely to read/visit? Will social media help increase sales conversions?
There’s nothing wrong with ads or social media of course; they are all part of the marketing communications toolkit. However just because a tool is in your toolkit doesn’t make it right for every job. Entrepreneurs should always remember that the ultimate goal of marketing is to get sales in the door. If your marketing strategy can’t demonstrate a clear path towards helping you/your client do that, then it’s time for a new strategy.