By: ZACH GUY AdvertisingMarketing Strategy Jul 7, 2020 How to Maximize Your Marketing Budget Establishing budgets is a necessary evil in the world of business. It’s never fun thing to do, but it’s extremely important to set your business up for success. Budgets allow you to set realistic goals and define the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) to make actual progress. Unfortunately, marketing budgets are typically one of the first to get cut when overall budgets need to be scaled back. This is obviously not ideal when your marketing department is being pressured to perform. We’re here to tell you that you don’t need Fortune-500-sized marketing budgets to reach your KPIs and get stellar results. It’s never too late to start maximizing your marketing budget. Implement the tips below to get the ball rolling. Establish goals and Specific KPIs upfront, in order of priority Creating consensus as an organization on your goals is the first step to establishing realistic KPIs. It’s not enough to simply write down your goals; KPIs make those goals actionable and measurable to hold you accountable. For example, one of your brand’s goals may be to increase revenue (whose isn’t?) "Increasing revenue" is a big KPI though. Perhaps you've found through your data analysis that visitors to a certain webpage on your site end up purchasing more than visitors who never visit that particular page. An easy and manageable target for your team would be: double visits to mywebsite.com/this-page-sells. By having very specific KPIs in place, your marketing team will have a better idea of the what, how, where, when and why to focus their marketing dollars. It becomes easier to rally around these specific targets rather than face the daunting idea of "increasing revenue". Not only is it important to set KPIs in the first place, but also to prioritize them. Especially when marketing budgets are tight, selecting your most important KPI as it relates to your strategy is critical to ensure marketing budgets are allocated properly, as discussed in this article by ClearPoint Strategy. Check out this video I recorded that explains the importance of setting realistic KPIs right off the bat. Take advantage of your owned media We all know that high-quality marketing isn’t cheap—but there are platforms to utilize that will make your marketing dollars extend further than others, like your owned media. As defined by Influencer DB, owned media includes all channels owned by your company or brand. Common examples of owned media include your website and landing pages, blog, podcast, videos, email list and print collateral. Contrary to popular belief, even your social media channels are not 100% owned—we consider these "rented media." Social media can disappear at any time—whether it be your individual business pages or a platform altogether. Creating your own content like blog posts, white paper downloads, podcasts, videos, infographics and more can be used to attract warm leads. Implementing gated content can help you grow your email list which you can then use to nurture those warm leads to eventually complete a sale. We know that continually creating content sounds exhausting, but you don’t have to always reinvent new topics. Repurposing content on your blog and website are highly valuable practices for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. As reported by C&EN Media Group, even small changes like updates to headlines or statistics can give your content a boost. Implement smart strategies into paid media This ties back into your owned media. By focusing your efforts on your owned media, your business will have more room to devote your marketing budget to paid media—advertising methods like outdoor, radio, TV, print, or social and digital ads (which can drive traffic back to your website to your owned media!) Also discussed in this article from C&EN Media Group, targeted digital efforts will help your owned/created content go a longer way, all while helping you work towards your KPIs. Many paid media strategies allow for extremely refined targeting with demographic, psychographics and geographic information, allowing you to focus in on your target audience to a T and making your marketing budget go a longer way. Invest in marketing specialists vs. a marketing generalist While there are pros and cons to both marketing specialists and generalists, your budget will go further by investing in a marketing specialist over a generalist. This may seem counterintuitive, but there are many ways that hiring a marketing specialist will actually save you money in the long run: Specialists specialize in one skill. Rather than leaving your entire marketing strategy up to one person—a Jack of All or Master of None—hiring a marketing firm leaves the work to a group of specialists with individual skillsets, refined over years. No overhead costs. There are no overhead costs like training, benefits, 401k, paid leave, etc. with a group of specialists. Specialists have more bandwidth. Marketing firms have more time to dedicate to your marketing efforts than an internal marketing manager or marketing generalist would have. They also typically have several years of combined experience on the team. With more experience comes quicker turnaround times while still maintaining quality and accuracy. Ready to maximize the rest of your 2020 marketing budget? It’s never too late to maximize your remaining budget for the year, or too early to start planning for next year! The Image Shoppe has over 50 years of combined experience in brand-marketing strategy. Whether you’re looking for a strategy to set you up for success or an ongoing branding, marketing and design partner, Team TIS is your trusted ally. Contact us today to schedule a consultation call.