Are you in charge of developing your brand’s marketing budget? Or responsible for approving it? Or crossing your fingers, toes + eyes hoping that your requests will make the cut + be included next year? Whatever impact the marketing budget has on you, understanding what’s killing your budget + where you’re wasting money is important! Here are some of the most common mistakes we see housewares marketing professionals making…
- You’re not mapping your goals – You’ve been hearing about/setting/working on SMART goals since Marketing 101, right?? We’re not here to talk through making your goal-setting realistic + actionable (though we love that kind of stuff + would absolutely work through that with you!), in this post, we want to talk about mapping your goals to your budget. Once you’ve set your goals, you should be able to map out how your budget items are going to help you hit that. If you have too many line items that won’t impact your goals directly, you could be wasting a lot of money.
You haven’t established value – You’ve mapped your goals, now what are they worth to you? Whether your goals are ecommerce based or not, have you established the value of a new customer? If a customer will only ever by one product from you, so be it. But if there is an opportunity to make a new customer a lifetime customer, that customer became exponentially more valuable. Establish that value + make sure your marketing budget will fund the lead gen, conversion + retention of your most valuable audiences.
- You’re not adjusting based on last year’s performance – It’s so, so important to understand what went well last year + what your options are for building on that foundation. It’s just as important (if not more so) to understand what strategies didn’t live up to expectations, with a clear understanding of what didn’t work, what held you back + how you could fix things, or readjust your focus. Maintaining certain channels, ad budgets or content goals just because always have, isn’t going to cut it in the future. You (probably) shouldn’t have a social account on every channel. You shouldn’t be writing blogs every month just to hit a specific post number. That Google search campaign you launched 12 months ago but haven’t touched since probably needs a little attention. Your team should have a really good idea of what worked + deserves more budget, which tactics didn’t live up to expectations + need adjusting + where you need to pivot.
- You’re spreading yourself too thin – Whether you’re targeting too broad of an audience with your ads, creating new social accounts whenever a new channel pops up, saying yes to every influencer that approaches you or spreading your budget too thin in other ways, you’re not going to see the return you want. Take a step back, look at your buyer personas, check your channel demographics + make sure you’re really focusing your time, attention + budgets on their needs + the channels that matter most to them. Choose one or two social channels + do those really well, with enough time + resources to invest in a well-balanced strategy that includes advertising. Write better content, less often. Invest in higher quality pieces that you can do more with. Quit trying to do it all + focus on doing things better.
- Your event budgets are too limited – As you’re planning for tradeshows, press events + other PR opportunities, you’re budgeting for the events. Travel, booth space, show services, shipping, promotions… The list goes on + on! If you’re only thinking of the actual event while budgeting, you’re missing out. Marketing before, at + after these events is so important to make the most of your investment there. Give yourself enough room to properly promote your attendance at these events, or your wasting marketing dollars before you even get there.
- You’re doing too much in-house – You’ve got a great team, no doubt about it! But, are they being pulled in too many directions? Too many brands fall into a cycle of piling more + more work onto talented marketers until they are too overwhelmed or overworked to do anything well. Your content writer is great with words, but how much time are they spending trying to develop great visuals for their copy? Your front-end developers are like magicians with your ecommerce system, but are they really able to keep everything running smoothly + focus enough attention on your search visibility + SEO? Keeping everything in-house may seem like the budget-friendliest approach to your marketing, but if out-sourcing some of the responsibilities could generate better results + keep your team from burn out, it’s money well-allocated.
- You’re not building an email list – If you’re not proactively trying to get more people to opt-in on what you have to say through emails, you’re missing out big time. Even if you don’t have a line-item for ongoing email marketing, building your email list is invaluable. Buying shady email lists, or having to spend big to get subscribers when it’s crunch time will eat away at your marketing budget quickly. An ongoing, authentic approach to building your lists is always going to be the budget-friendlier approach.
- You’re more focused on the aesthetic than the results – Your marketing should be pretty, we get that. As more + more consumers are focused on curating a lifestyle, the look + feel of your branding is more important than ever. But if your creatives look great, but aren’t generating the results you need them to, they aren’t good enough. Make sure you’re looking at the bigger picture when focusing your budget.
- You’re not keeping up – Whether it be the competition, the latest technology, or just your own marketing initiatives, if you’re not keeping up, you’re going to waste your marketing budget. Understanding the competitive + progressive marketing landscape will help you make sure you’re using your budget when + where there’s the most opportunity. Remember, it’s easier to keep up than it is to catch up, so don’t let your brand fall too far behind or you’ll be killing your marketing budget trying to catch up.
Looking for some insight on how to make the most of your marketing budget? We’re here to help! Our marketing plans are actionable enough for your in-house team to take + run with but could be fully supported by our team of digital marketing experts as well. Whether you need a little help prioritizing or a lot of help with the day-to-day, we can help you do more with your marketing budget!