In a growth-driven world, businesses often focus on the new: new markets, clients, products or services. Too often they miss our most reliable source of profit – existing customers. The probability of selling to an existing customer is somewhere between 60% and 70% compared to between 5% and 20% for successfully selling to a new prospect. They’re also cheaper to market to, it costs three times as much to win a new customer as it does to retain an old one.
What exactly is marketing? A lot of people think of it as the visible stuff: the posters, the adverts, the social media campaigns, the email newsletters. And while these are certainly elements of marketing, they are simply tactics and strategies to reach a specific goal. With no clearly defined goal or purpose, all this activity is meaningless. For any organisation, of any size, the key goal of any marketing activity should be working towards - or directly impacting - the bottom line. Marketing is a combination of planning and budgeting - but to be successful, there needs to be a measure of what success actually looks like: your return on investment.
Marketing communication is the means by which a business engages customers and prospects, as distinct from marketing and communication more generally. The secret to a successful marketing communications strategy is simple and twofold: it's about choosing the right communication tools and sending a consistent message with them. Any agency will take your hard earned marketing budget and build compelling creative promotional materials for you; but if they’re not working with the right tools or channels, their efforts will be wasted. Prospective customers won't even see your message - let alone respond to it.
How do you prepare the marketing budget for your business? Most organisations calculate – or estimate – the percentage of funds they want to dedicate to marketing, then ‘build out’ their marketing plan within this figure. On the face of it, this approach makes business sense. After all: you don’t want to spend more than you can afford. But in doing so, how can you be confident you’re achieving maximum bang for your buck? You can’t. Successful marketing budgeting is about knowing what you want to achieve, and building a budget that satisfies both your expectations and your accountant. Here’s what you need to know when developing yours.
It’s fair to say that salespeople and marketing departments don’t always see eye to eye. Sales blame marketing for delivering low volume or low-quality leads. In turn, marketing criticise sales for not converting enough of their well thought out strategy into a return on investment.