As obvious as it might seem, there are some basic questions to ask about marketing spend when developing your marketing strategy—and you will be surprised by the answers:
1. How much will each marketing campaign really cost?
2. Does each have a clear objective (awareness, interest, response)?
3. What are the expected results (best and worst case)?
4. On what basis are those results expected?
5. Would you approve a campaign if you knew in advance the results would come in “worst case”?
6. What were the results of previous, similar campaigns? If the answer is “not very good,” why is it being done again?
7. If a campaign has never been tried before, has it been tested? If not, why not?
8. How critical is it to do this campaign now?
9. What process is going to be used to qualify, distribute and measure follow-up on responses?
10. When and how will you assess the results of each campaign?
How many low-yield marketing campaigns is your company about to execute? Take a look at what is planned for your company, division or department, and then ask the questions above.
If answers to these questions set off red flags for you, then stop the spending carousel in which dollars are going out with certainty while resulting revenue is coming in with less certainty. The tendency of most managers is to keep the carousel going. They fear jeopardizing short-term sales if existing or planned programs are reduced or eliminated. Using marketing best practices allows you to avoid the problem of spending money without return.
The reality is that this faulty thinking is costing your company tens of thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that you can always reinstate a campaign later, but money spent today is gone forever. Cash is king. Spend yours wisely.