If you are like me, developing an annual marketing budget doesn’t crack your list of top 100 favorite things to do. But having a well-thought-out plan that you are able to execute will be a recipe for a successful 2017.
Top five questions you must ask yourself when developing a 2017 advertising and marketing strategy and budget:
- What advertising and marketing vehicles worked best this year?
- Conversely, what strategies didn’t work as well as you would have liked?
- Do you have a sound integrated digital strategy that incorporates todays — and tomorrow’s — best marketing practices?
- What is your current digital reputation?
- Does your monthly marketing expense align with your monthly revenue and business plan?
If we are properly doing our jobs, we already know the answers to questions 1 and 2. There are professionals like myself who have the tools and knowledge to help you answer the final three questions.
If you already closely measure your results and regularly react to what you see, you probably see your advertising and marketing spend as a positive investment. If not, it is time to gain control. Advertising expense is typically 5 percent, give or take based on your industry, of your total annual sales. Whether your annual budget is $5,000 or $500,000, it’s an expense that, if well thought out, will pay dividends.
Based on the specific industry, Borrell Associates’ data provides a good roadmap to understanding whether a specific business’ current integrated strategies align with today and tomorrow’s best marketing practices. This is another free service Swift Local Solutions provides to help delve deep into where your industry and your competitors are spending their dollars now along with forecasts for trends over the next five years.
Did you know that about 42 percent of all advertising and marketing dollars were spent on digital platforms in 2015? Here is a link from Borrell for you to take a broad look of total advertising spending in our region.
Contact your local media representative or me about information specific to your industry in your market. Doesn’t it make sense to understand how your competition is spending their advertising dollars?
With the proper tools such as those offered by Swift Local Solutions, we can scrape the web to take a snapshot of your current digital presence. Armed with this backend information we can patch holes as we find them whether it be with your digital directory listing errors, social media platforms, your website or your online reviews and ratings. Our organization provides those services at no charge in the course of helping you build an effective marketing strategy.
Finally, make sure your advertising and marketing budget aligns with your sales budget as well as any special planned events for 2017. Make certain that your monthly marketing and advertising expenses are proportionate to your budgeted revenue. Remember it is far easier to make your strong months stronger than it is to greatly increase sales in your slower months.