Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Having a proper marketing budget can make or break your business - it's one of those facets of owning a company that is absolutely crucial. This isn't an aspect of running your business where you want to cut corners. Taking the time to consider the cost of marketing for your company is something you'll want to take slowly and with a lot of careful planning and consideration. Let's take a look at a few very important points to successfully dividing and evaluating your marketing budget.
First Things First: Get Organized
Financial organization is the cornerstone of marketing channel management. It's likely that you'll have to estimate your projected future earnings and expenses, but try to be as accurate as possible.
Begin by having as crystal clear of an understanding as possible regarding your net 30 (monthly) revenue. For example, let's say that after expenses, your business earns anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 monthly - what you're trying to determine here is your reliable revenue, which is the term for the funds that you can expect to bring in each and every month.
To determine your reliable revenue, you'll want to use the lowest possible figure. So in this example, that would be $10,000. Anything you happen to earn over that amount becomes additional revenue which can be allocated at the time, but not before.
Think of this as starting your budget from a "worst case scenario" position. If you're uncertain when calculating your monthly expenses or mezzanine debt rates, tools like a monthly budget calculator or the help of a financial manager can be very useful.
Deciding Which Marketing Channels to Utilize
Even if you can successfully apply for loan, you'll want to allocate your funds based on the figures you determined in the first step we discussed here. You'll first want to figure out where and how you'd like to spend your marketing budget.
There are usually three considerations successful business owners make before spending their marketing budget:
● The size of his or her budget
● Where and how the target demographic will be reached (i.e., which marketing channels
● Past experience and expertise
For example, even with the best construction loan, a building company should take these points into consideration. Organizing your marketing budget will likely begin with considering just how much money you have to spend - if your budget is quite small, you'll want to consider relatively inexpensive options like email advertising and lead generation, online advertising, creating a strong social media presence (which can be quite cost effective and, in many cases, cost nothing at all), and even reasonably priced print advertisements.
If your marketing budget is larger, you may also wish to consider marketing channels such as television, radio, or other forms of targeted media. Don't be afraid to find and use a marketing budget template to use as a helpful reference as you work out the details.
Knowing Your Target Demographic
In order to determine the best marketingchannels for your specific needs, the best place to start is to develop a demographic profile of your target audience. Begin by considering some of the following points of your target audience:
● Income level
● Interests, hobbies, and behaviors
● What kind of media they are most likely to consume
The last point is perhaps the most important and often the most difficult to accurately determine, however this will likely shed quite a lot of light on which marketing channels you should be using. Once you know where the eyeballs of your target audience are the most likely to be, you can begin working on developing your integrated marketing communications.
Test, Test, Test
A portion of your marketing budget should be allocated to testing. This should only be money that you can "afford to lose" - however, don't think of losing money on a failed marketing campaign as a hard loss. This is money you spent to gather data - you paid to find out what did and did not work.
If you haven't already, familiarize yourself with split and/or A/B style testing. This means that you'll develop multiple versions of each advertising campaign and test to see which works better. A/B testing involves two versions (A and B). If campaign B yields you a higher return on your investment, it's the "winner" and gets pitted against another variation of the same ad. This process repeats so that you are continually optimizing your marketing channels.
Analyze Data and Adjust Accordingly
The final step to finding the optimal marketing channels for your business is to take all of the data that you've gathered from your tests and analyze it. Ruthlessly cut out the channels that failed and optimize the ones which were successful. By repeating this process over and over, you'll eventually reach a point of peak marketing channel efficiency.
Marketing Channel Management is an Ongoing Process
Understand that marketing channel management is often an ongoing process that will need to be adjusted over time. Trends, shopping habits, and audiences themselves will change over the span of years and sometimes even months, so it is necessary to continually develop new marketing strategies and test new channels. As your audience changes, so should you.
About the Author : This article was written by Tully with the help of HoldenCAPITAL, a specialist construction finance group in QLD, recognized as a market leader through its successes in deal structuring and the sourcing of debt and equity solutions.