'I have my marketing budget set but how do I diversify where and when to spend it?'
I was having a conversation with a marketing director of a small company (7 employees) who reached out to me for an hour consultation. She's been with the company since the beginning of the year (~3 months) and is settling in to her role.
What started out as a conversation to help with content marketing changed to where to invest the marketing dollars in the budget that was set before she started in her role.
Since the beginning of the year, she's implemented what was already in place "until I understand the metrics, what's working and isn't as well as learned why we were investing time and money where we were."
If this sounds familiar, it's because it's a common scenario. If this is you, you are not alone.
I actually get asked this question often.
There's a lot of marketing that can be done free through social media. But there are times when free is too crowded and the message you want to deliver will reach the audience you want faster through paid advertising.
Or the option you need, like an event sponsorship, is only an option when you have a marketing budget.
So, when you are evaluating your marketing budget and where to spend it throughout the year, first look at how it is going to help achieve company goals as well as working with the various teams needed to meet each goal. Does sales need to be involved in the planning? How about customer service? Product development or operations?
Planning the marketing spend always begins with purpose and strategy followed by monitoring and modifying.
Even the best and most prestigious marketing teams need to invest time and effort into how, where and when to spend the marketing budget. Planning is how you will most likely set yourself up for success in reaching those goals - and get the budget renewed next year.
So, here are the important steps I reviewed with her (generally speaking) that might also help you if you're new to your role.
This is a diversifying plan for your marketing budget from my fractional CMO perspective:
Identify the company goals you can influence, impact and/or achieve with marketing (it won't be all of them and of those you can impact, prioritize so you can prioritize spend)
List where your target audience is spending time (which social media platforms, email open rates, events, phone calls through customer service, etc.)
Develop a 30-day content calendar (start with this one). Include if there's a weekly theme, when you will post, who will post and where they will post. Create a tracking column to determine which posts perform the best and on which topics, platforms, message and CTA. It's good to track comments, engagements, new subscribers, website visits, doc downloads, and other metrics that are important to the marketing team as well as the company and targeted goals.
Once the infrastructure is in place, you can determine how to spend the monthly marketing budget.
Here are things to consider and questions to ask yourself:
Are there annual events the company participates in that I need to know about?
What new events do they want to participate in?
Do we have the talent on our team currently or will we need to outsource any?
Will we need to order branded give aways?
What was spent from the marketing budget last year that wasn't planned for?
How can we support sales with our marketing budget?
Are there monthly or quarterly regular activities to plan for?
For each event where any portion of the marketing budget has been spent, find out the results including what the objective was and outcome.
For example, if there's a golf outing your company participates in every year, what's the company's involvement and why?
Find ways to be more creative with the spend. Maybe sponsor the 1st hole and hand out beer koozie's with your logo for when the beer cart visits. Or buy branded golf towels that start out as chilled rolled towels to cool off from the heat but reusable beyond the day. Or sponsor the 18th hole, hand out branded beer mugs with and a coupon inside for a one free beer they can turn in at the club bar. At the bar, talk with the club manager about handing out a card with a special offer to every person who turns in a coupon.
Your target audience = branded give aways + free beer coupon = special offer = keeping the conversation going after the event
It's important to know what events or marketing initiatives will utilize the monthly budget. A golf outing may be more than your monthly allotment so you need to know ahead of time so you can plan the spend accordingly.
You need to plan for these things so you also know what you have if you need to buy Facebook ads, Google Ads or a podcast sponsorship, for example.
Diversifying your marketing budget starts with a plan. Use as much data and intelligence you have to create the most effective and results driven marketing strategy the company's ever seen.
As you can imagine, it can get complicated or overwhelming. That's why I'm here.
Vicki O'Neill is a fractional CMO in Ohio with over 20 years of marketing leadership experience. She's the founder of KenKay Marketing, a marketing solutions company founded in 2011. Vicki hosts Connect the Dots a marketing and sales educational podcast for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. She recently launched a new podcast with her Gen Z daughters, The Power of 3X, to help individuals who want to learn about the youngest generation. You will find Vicki on most social media platforms but you'll find her mostly on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Whether you need an hour to consult, a day to do a small project you don't want to do or have time for, a longer term project or a part-time marketing resource, let me know how I can help and let's take that next step together. Click here to apply.