7 Ways to waste your marketing budget

Stretch your marketing dollar

"In short, every marketing dollar must be generating some sort of ROI"

As entrepreneurs we know the excitement of running a successful campaign and the pain when you’ve spent money, from a limited budget, that doesn’t come back. It’s critical to allocate funds wisely, because there is money to be made, so long as the budget isn’t wasted.

Here are the 7 ways marketing budgets can be wasted:

1: Focusing too much on branding

Consumers are caring less about brand and more about you being able to understand, and then solve the problem that they have. Brands are built on customer experiences with your product or service. It’s sales that build a brand. A lot of people buying and loving your products/services is what will build a solid brand. Marketing needs to be approached in a manner that will drive sales quickly versus a focus on branding first. Always have a call to action, speak to the consumer’s needs, and offer a solution.

2: Not Tracking Results

If you don’t know how much money you make for every dollar you spend on marketing, then you are likely losing money on your marketing. There is a lot that you can track, and your resources could be thin, so the 2 areas you must track are:

  • ROI: The goal is to understand for each $1.00 you put into a digital marketing channel (social media, advertising, event promotion, etc.), whether you’re making $0.85 or $1.25 – the difference between these two numbers can be the difference between bankruptcy and amazing success.
  • Track every channel, each target demographic, and each creative ad as specifically as possible. At a minimum, you want to know, for example, if your Facebook ad that’s targeted at women between 25 and 50 in the city of Denver is working or not. This is the power of digital marketing – don’t let this drive you crazy, and it can vary depending on the business, but if you’re not tracking at this level of detail then you’re likely losing money.

3: Focusing on Pretty VS. Effective

The most critical components of your marketing is your message, your targeting, and your testing. Forget about how pretty your marketing is until you’ve got everything else in order. It’s easier than ever to make an attractive landing page, ad, or whatever you’re producing, which means that you barely need to focus on it at all. Your time and energy should be spent on figuring out exactly what message resonates with your market and then designing your offers and marketing to that specific message.

4: Not Testing Enough

Testing is an area that can be overdone, but the usual scenario is that you’re not doing enough. Begin by testing your primary messaging that is part of your ads, your sales pages and all other areas of your marketing.

Focus on:

(a) the problem that your customer is facing
(b) the fears or concerns that they have, and
(C) the reason that your product/service is the ideal solution

Create creative variations on these 3 elements of your primary message and then build ads, sales pages, and other content that contains different versions of your above primary message, and track to see which versions get the highest click-throughs, sales, and opt-ins.

Aside from testing your primary message, you should also test different customer segments. Constantly be tracking which customer types are spending more money with your business. Start with major distinctions such as age, location, sex and then keep narrowing down from there.

5: Not Early Selling

Offer early sales on every product/service you offer. Never create anything before you have people already paying you money for it. Operating in this manner you avoid spending a lot of time and money building a product not knowing for sure whether or not it’s going to sell.

It’s more efficient to pre-sell the product or service that your company is planning on developing and offer it for a discount. Let people know it’s not done yet so, they’re getting a price break and can give input into development (possibly).

6: No Call to Action

A clear call to action is a must. The goal is to get the customer/client to take action on a single option, because you are only giving them one option, such as adding to a cart, buying, or calling. Craft a message that resonates with your potential customers/clients and then tells them exactly what you want them to do – click on the ad, visit the website, call the phone number, or take some other action. This adjustment to all of your marketing can dramatically increase results.

7: Not Targeting Your Customers Specifically Enough

Digital marketing allows you to pick where you want your marketing message to run: websites, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, etc, and you can narrow down who sees the ad and choose what times to run the ad. Your efforts should be put towards constantly trying to customize to your ideal customers so that they feel like you understand them and that you are treating them special. This makes them highly more likely to do business with you.

In short, every marketing dollar must be generating some sort of ROI. Not all of them will, but over time most of them must. Use the above recommendations to find what is working, and what is not, and what needs adjusting to maximize the ROI on your marketing efforts.