make it rain

We all know that we need to invest in our marketing and branding efforts to help our companies grow! That’s a given.

What we often don’t know is whether or not our expenditures are actually the right ones.

Even with modern tools that allow us to track and manage our marketing, advertising, and branding efforts more effectively than we used to, whether or not we are able to really count on our branding and marketing efforts to deliver for us is still a question that a lot of us can’t answer correctly.

While we may never actually have a true and real answer to whether or not our marketing money is being used to its optimal level, what we do know is that we are likely wasting a lot of our money and effort due to a few key mistakes.

To help put your marketing money to better use, flip the script on these common errors:

1. Not being consistent:

One thing is certain. Be it PR efforts, advertising, or anything else, you should be consistent with your efforts to make sure that you are doing a good job of achieving your ROI.

As someone that has worked in direct advertising, I know that you should see some sort of feedback immediately from any direct response advertising you do. The same can’t be said for all forms of marketing.

Instead, to make sure that you maintain consistency in your marketing efforts. You need to begin by asking yourself what the intended outcomes are.

So if you are doing a PR effort that is to get you in a number of media outlets and you get into a number of media outlets, you know you were successful.

If you ran a direct response campaign and go no responses, you know that something wasn’t working.

But if you are running a brand building campaign, but expect immediate results…that might not be the best idea.

Which if you don’t get the results you were hoping for, could lead to wanting to do something different or not doing anything at all.

All of which destroy consistency.

So make sure you are clear on what you are trying to achieve and build that into your plans so that you are consistent and can measure accordingly.

2. Don’t lead with discounts:

How many of us have seen a friend start their business built on the idea that they are going to give everything away and convert everyone into paying later?

This is sort of the original sin of a lot of our newspapers in the digital age, they gave everything away from the start because they didn’t understand monetization and now are having a difficult time making money because everyone has been getting news for free for so long.

Sad!

This plays out all over the place.

Look at sports, where the sales team wants you to buy a full or partial season package under the guise that you are going to be getting a better deal than other fans that buy on a per game basis. But as soon as attendance starts flagging, they turn around and destroy that promise with a discount.

Don’t do that.

Both are bad ideas.

You have to be very careful if you try to use discounts and in most cases, I would say don’t do that at all.

Why?

Because discounts destroy your brand.

On average, it takes 7 years to regain your brand positioning in your buyers’ minds once you start discounting.

So be careful with the discounts and it should never be a lead strategy…never.

Because if you are leading with discounts, you are already losing.

3. Not making your marketing a priority:

I could have led with this one.

But one of the big issues with a lot of marketing spend is that the money is thrown at marketing because you feel like you have to, but you don’t really put the time and energy into making it a priority so that you can get the maximum value from your marketing efforts.

This usually plays out with things like no clue what you hope to achieve, no idea about what market you are attacking, and no idea of what the marketing mix should look like for a specific buyer profile.

The key to anything that surrounds your marketing is that you need to begin by understanding why you need to do and whether or not you are committed to making a significant investment in making it work right for you.

After that you are going to want to ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. What is the value we are trying to create?
  2. Who will buy this?
  3. How do we reach them?

Once you have those answers, you need to commit to action.

If not, get out and don’t start. Because I can guarantee you that you are going to waste your time and money on marketing that won’t be effective.