They say you must spend money to make money, but when it comes to marketing, how you spend the money is what matters. Is your current marketing bringing returns? If not, its an expenditure – a waste of money. If it is bringing a lift in business above cost, then it is an investment.
The ROMI principle, return over marketing investment, is spelled out clearly by Australia e-commerce and digital marketing pro Alex Levashov. He says, “As a marketer you should always remember that if you cannot evidence the value from your marketing activities don’t be surprised the budget gets cut!” Of course, if you’re the one setting the budget, it’s your job to know when to cut marketing strategies with zero or negative lift.
Proven Marketing Strategies that Work
While every business should have a customised marketing approach, these 7 strategies are proven to bring return on marketing investment. Your task is to tailor them to the audience you want to reach, keep and maximize sales to.
- Have a Master Plan that Evolves and Scales
This is the Big Picture vision for marketing you must produce, tweak to make more effective and adapt as your potential market grows. It includes:
- Identifying your target audience – start narrow and specific, change it or your product offerings if you fail, stick to it if you grow, and only expand it once you’re doing very well in that niche.
- Knowing where to find your audience members online and offline including face-to-face whenever possible
- Having the best customer relationship management (CRM) tools and resources you can afford – and ditto for customer service
- Continually offering your audience value and rewarding customer loyalty
- Overhauling or tweaking the plan as needed and making sure it evolves and scales with your success
OK, now let’s get to the nuts and bolts marketing strategies that work.
- Get Noticed and Known Offline with Promotional Products
Shoe-string startups use inexpensive yet useful promotional products because the give-aways create a feelings-level connection between the giver and the recipient. The gesture rarely raises a thought-level red flag that might say, “Hey, they gave me something because ultimately they want to sell me something.”
That’s why companies on tiny budgets use them.
Guess why billion-dollar companies like General Motors, PepsiCo, P&G, Pfizer, AT&T, IBM, Intel and Philip Morris each spend at least $40 million per year on promotional products? For the very same reason—they work as intended.
- Show Appreciation with Corporate Gifts
Corporate gifts take promotional products to the next level. They typically feature better quality, more elegant design and a higher price tag. Corporate gifts aren’t cost-effective used as give-aways, but you should consider buying them for your best customers to show appreciation, build loyalty and make a marketing investment in future sales to those customers.
- Give Discounts
Groupon is in 28 countries and has a market cap of more than $2 billion, USD. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said about the value of giving discounts to customers as an investment with excellent ROMI. Make your discount coupons and codes available in any way you can online and offline.
- Master Social Media Platforms
The content and super-cute “Social Meowdia Explained” infographic here is a good start to finding your audience online and then using various social media platforms effectively. What you do on Twitter will differ from your marketing on Facebook and Pinterest, for example, and each are important.
- Optimise your Website and its Content
Ranking better on Google will grow your business, so invest in well-written content that is optimised for:
- Providing value to readers, not to try to capitalise on Google’s algorithm
- Your products and services
- The search terms being used most often to find the types of products and services you sell
- Your location, if you have a local presence
Adding a blog to your website with quality, optimised content will yield results.
- Become an Authority on the Issues
You’re probably very knowledgeable about your products and the reasons people use them. The next step is to let others know that you’re the authority on the relevant topics. Do this through writing e-books and offering them for free or low cost, writing guest blogs for other websites, offering to speak on the subject at seminars or conferences, creating teaching videos and loading them to YouTube and finding ways to use your knowledge and skills to serve your community.
Plan, Implementation, Evaluation and Adjust
Successful people and businesses:
- Evaluate the effectiveness of what they’re doing
- Adjust what they’re doing to be more effective
- Adjust the master plan as needed, and go through the next steps all over again
Where are you in the process? If you’re not sure, go back to the beginning, develop a master plan as outlined above, and implement these proven marketing strategies to bring your plan to life. Keep evaluating and adjusting your implementation of the strategies until each one is bringing your business maximum return on money invested. Maximum ROMI: That’s the very definition of success!
This is the recurring cycle that will get your business to where you want it to be. Few stick to it. Will you?