These 7 Questions Make Sure Your Marketing Hits the Mark
By: Laura Landergott, Whole Growth Partners Principal & Founder
So, 2020 happened. And every business owner wants to know what 2021 will look like. That’s a difficult prediction, but we do know this: now is the BEST time to invest in marketing so as the economy recovers, your business is favorably positioned for competitive growth.
That begs the question: are you investing in the right marketing strategies for your business?
We’ve got the checklist to help you evaluate marketing initiatives offering the greatest benefit to your immediate and long-term business goals. No, this won’t involve late night pro/con list-making or giant marketing meetings to think-tank your way through each objective. Simply asking these 7 questions before you invest could save you valuable time and money in 2021.
1.) Does it help accomplish our objectives? Is it connected to our strategy?
Don’t fall for the flashy marketing opportunity – and I’m talking to green and seasoned business owners alike. If the opportunity doesn’t feed into forward momentum that will ultimately accomplish 1 or more of your busines goals, then drop it.
It’s easy to be wooed by the next cool marketing opportunity, even if it doesn’t exactly make sense for your business goals. Or, to fall into the trap of doing what you’ve always done “because you’ve always done it.” Your business objectives may vary. There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing campaign, but viable marketing strategies should immediately present benefits to your business, period.
2.) Does it reach our target market in both quality and quantity?
You’ve got a clear sense of what your business is about, now it’s time to look at the market. Two questions should come to mind:
- Who is an “ideal client” for my practice?
- How do I effectively and affordably reach them?
A marketing tactic may reach thousands of people…but if they’re not the “right” kind of prospects, what’s the point? Plus, it could have an adverse effect on your business and significantly lower your marketing ROI. A marketing tactic that reaches a handful of the “right” kind of prospects could be a better investment, just be aware of the marketing cost for that reach. Look for marketing opportunities that balance both quality and quantity and get you in front of your ideal audience without exhausting your marketing budget.
3.) Does it provide multiple marketing touch points?
Investing in marketing strategies that reinforce multiple goals can have a powerful effect on your practice and cut down on resources used. Look for marketing opportunities that hit more than one touch point. Ask yourself, does this strategy help with…
- Client acquisition – helping you find new clients within your ideal profile
- Client retention – creating “stickiness” to keep those clients
- Thought leadership – reinforcing your reputation as a respected expert in your field
- Community involvement – increasing visibility for your business through local engagement
- Recruiting – building your talent pipeline for future growth of your practice
- Branding – positioning your practice favorably within the community
- Networking – connecting you with more ideal prospective clients
- Philanthropy – enabling you to do well by doing good
When marketing initiatives hit on several of these points, you increase the efficiency of your marketing investment. Home run!
4.) Can it provide both frequency and duration?
When investing in a sponsorship or partnership, consider those that provide opportunities for your firm and team members to engage multiple times throughout the year. This regular cadence is usually much more effective than a single large event. A longer timeline with multiple touchpoints enable you to build consistent visibility and strong relationships under the halo of the partnership. For instance, consider sponsoring a series of connected events so you’re able to grow name recognition through repetition and continuity.
Remember, it’s not effective to parachute in for one big event, then go dark, never to be seen or heard from again for the rest of the year.
5.) Can it build off existing relationships?
Recall question 4? Consistency is king (or queen!) in building momentum. So, think of places and situations where you already have solid relationships. Nesting where you’re known and established can effectively save you time and resources.
A few examples come to mind. Working consistently with a local publication is not only a good practice for consistent coverage, they’ll also be more likely to offer you first right-of-refusal on new promotional opportunities. Perhaps you have a client who owns a catering service or restaurant; consider using their service or venue for an upcoming [socially-distanced] event. That’s a win/win situation in which you’re helping to fuel your client’s business. Or if you’re already a member of a country club or on the board of a non-profit organization, take this opportunity to deepen relationships with other members. You know you have at least one thing in common, there are bound to be others!
In short, deepening existing relationships to feed business momentum is a wise strategy.
6.) Is it (too) available?
Two words: category exclusivity.
To stand out, select marketing opportunities that enable your business to “own” the space. We’re pretty sure you don’t want to be surrounded by a host of competitors. So, confirm you’ll be the only financial planner or wealth management firm engaged in the marketing opportunity, sponsorship, event, etc. During contract negotiation, ask for “category exclusivity.”
Also, make sure your business doesn’t get lost in the proverbial “logo soup.” Because Silver and Bronze level sponsorships tend to be more affordable, you’ll see more company sponsors in those tiers. If you’re able, we’d recommend considering one of the higher tiers like Platinum or Gold where it’s easier to stand out. The premium sponsorship tiers typically only have one or two major sponsors. That’s where you want to be…if it’s within your means.
7.) Is it affordable?
Which brings us to our final point…don’t take on more of a financial investment than you can reasonably handle. In fact, you might want to start small, test a new initiative before making a larger commitment. This is especially true for marketing initiatives you’ve never done before and big-ticket financial commitments.
That’s not to say you should shy away from sizeable marketing investments, just do your due diligence. Significant discounts for a multi-year commitment may be attractive, but do the math. How does that break down per year, what are your anticipated returns on that investment, how many new clients do you believe you’ll be able to acquire from that investment. Most importantly, are you in a position to make a long-term, multi-year financial commitment?
We encourage you to enlist the help of your CFO to evaluate your resources before making a financial commitment.
Whole Growth Partners and Your Business
Are you confident you’re investing the right marketing strategies? Enlist the help of a strong marketing partner who focuses on the growth of your whole business. We’re here to help.