Online helps squeeze the best value out of your marketing dollar
There is no disputing that 2020 was, using the words of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, an annus horribilis. So how do we ensure that 2021 is a year of growth for your business? One important step is to pay extra attention to your marketing and deriving the very best value for every dollar spent.
A lot of businesses, when they went into lockdown, were already committed to marketing campaigns that were physical – billboards, print catalogues etc. Mediums that may have delivered great results in previous years, but were now rendered impotent as cars no longer travelled freeways and people just didn’t want anything in their letterbox. What 2020 showed us is that when it comes to marketing, we need to consider a range of delivery platforms for any campaign that we promote. We need to be flexible, not only in the delivery platform but also in the messaging. In March last year, people didn’t want to hear from you as a business unless you were solving a problem for them and any marketing messaging that ignored the pandemic was judged harshly.
As a result of the lockdowns, businesses have rightly pivoted to the online space to sell their products and services. The online world became the saviour of many businesses and the increased focus of so many Australians, as they were forced to work and shop from home.
But now, in 2021, Australia is emerging with hope that this pandemic is under control; that vaccines will return life to near normal; and with signs that the economy has awoken from hibernation, stretched and gone for a brisk run. (Disclaimer: this is the case as I write this. I learned last year that the world changes in a heartbeat and you can’t rely on the status quo.)
So now is the time when you should be moving full steam ahead with your marketing campaigns. It’s not the time to cut your marketing spend, but it is the time to ensure that you get best value for your marketing dollar. And this means getting forensic:
- How much did you spend on marketing last year?
- What return (leads/sales) was gained from new marketing efforts?
- What marketing initiatives caused more work than reward?
If you can’t quickly access the answers to these questions, then you need to put in place the automated systems to provide you with the data you need. There’s no point spending money on any aspect of your business—including marketing—if you can’t measure your return on investment.
Because of the increased engagement by the population with online, it’s a good strategy to ensure that you have a strong presence there, but at the same time, making sure that you are driving value from every dollar spent.
- Start spending on social media campaigns and SEO (Search Enginge Optimisation) of your website.
- Work out your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition). A report by Facebook revealed that some industries in 2020 saw the highest conversion rate for dollars spent since 2017. Calculating your CPA lets you work out what percentage of the profit made from a lead is spent on obtaining it. This data helps you plan how much you can spend on a campaign and lets you dial it up or down, depending on results.
- Avoid fragmenting your marketing message and focus on just promoting your core products. Develop a strategically targeted social media content plan for your most popular items, by using data from sales reports and website analytics. This way you can get your services and products in front of people who are actively looking.
- Automate your reporting. Don’t waste resources by having someone do the same process every month to generate a report and put it on your desk. Set up an automatic recurrent process that means you have that report—automatically—in your inbox at the start of each month.
- Utilise the power and reach of Electronic Direct Email (EDMs). An EDM is cheap and some delivery plans are free if you are still building your database. EDMs promote your brand, your products and can, when cleverly constructed, build relationships.
- Take advantage of free or low-cost tools to help laser focus your spend. For instance:
- use Facebook Ads library. This is a comprehensive, searchable collection of all ads that are currently running on Facebook apps and Instagram. You can have a look at what your competitors are doing and see what is working for them.
- use an SEO keyword tool (many have free plans to get started) to see what keywords work well for driving people to your website and where you may be able to expand your reach.
- get a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) like Hubspot that offers free tiers: this will allow you to track your sales and only pay as your business grows.
I urge every business to investigate government grants as a way to fund some of your digital marketing. The Australian federal and state governments have many initiatives to support businesses, and in 2020 we helped a lot of them to secure grants that allowed them to effectively market their products and services, in a way they wouldn’t have been able to, without the financial assistance.
In summary, even if you are doing it tough as a business, it is false economy to cut marketing from your budget. The trick is to look at how to derive the best value from your limited dollars, and online is usually the answer. By using a systemised approach and with a strategy driven by statistics, data and artificial intelligence tools, you can create a focused presence that is talking directly to those people who are actively looking for the types of products and services you provide.
Tony Tran has been in the IT industry for the better part of the last decade, working across both small to medium enterprises and also to some of Australia’s largest retail brands. As a senior product manager, he has overseen the development of large enterprise web platforms that help maintain businesses with their operational excellence. He has been appointed the security officer at varying software development agencies to ensure the scalability, robustness and safeguarding of systems from third-party attackers. Specialising in web development, Tony has ensured businesses follow best practises across web security, analytics and marketing.
To discuss how Tony’s expertise can help tak your business to new heights, contact:
03 9533 0028, firstname.lastname@example.org