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Marketing: Make investments that move the needle

Marketing: Make investments that move the needle Q. How can I be sure that the money I’m investing is not only building my brand awareness, but also stimulating sales?

A. Marketing's function is to create brand awareness, educate customers, and direct them to point-of-sale locations or sales representatives. Sales result from well-executed marketing, repeat sales result from excellent experiences.

Quantify the size of your prize

With technology available today, data provides insight into traditional and digital platforms and with this awareness, allows for more strategic decisions. For example, utilizing Google Analytics or Facebook Insights, we can quantify the level of engagement on our digital platforms. For beginners, there are a number of blogs to help navigate metrics. Likewise, qualifying leads and identifying existing communities like support/advocacy groups, utilize advertising dollars more effectively and create direct conversation with potential users.

Do the work in-house or hire help?

If you have bandwidth in house, first question if an employee has the support or resources to be successful. Often employees receive responsibilities outside their job description and aren't supported or educated on how to be effective alongside existing tasks, thus wasting money.

If engaging contractors, remember - no one knows your business and brand better than you do. Working with companies who think they can show you otherwise is usually a red flag. Unless they're time-tested in the industry you serve, they may be telling you what you need to hear to gain your confidence and subsequent business. This is not as a blanket statement, but be sure your contractors have committed to on-board, ask probing questions and really get to know who you are as a company.

Effective execution requires devising a marketing strategy and budget that commits to consistency and quality. This is how we form worthwhile data to know if marketing dollars are well spent or should be rerouted elsewhere. Firms usually specialize in one to three areas of excellence so don't commit everything at first, choose bite size chunks i.e. social media, product photography, or copyrighting (blog/website descriptions) to test out a new relationship.


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