Monday, November 23, 2015

ROI and Your Marketing Plan: Ensure a return on your Company’s Marketing Efforts

 Jonah Engler - Return on Investment and Marketing Plan

Professionals at any level share the same advice when it comes to growing your company. Invest in marketing and promoting your business as much as possible. While this method enjoys success, unless businesses market products and services to the right target market, promoting reaps little to no rewards. Businesses also need to ensure that they reach out via the right mediums to connect with consumers. To ensure a return on investment in marketing, follow the tips outlined below:

Market Research

Do the necessary market research before creating a marketing plan. Then, act on the information uncovered. Market research helps businesses to identify what target market to connect with. It also provides demographic information on the target market, as well as, how to reach them.

For instance, when McDonald’s entered France and Japan, the company knew that it would need to provide a more “posh” front to attract the interest of customers in these countries. Unfortunately, when the Golden Arches entered India, the company failed to realize that marketing beef to a culture which features worshipping of cows was a bad choice.

The company recovered quickly once the truth surfaced and now offers 100% vegetarian burgers. McDonald’s also changed its ads to reflect this change in their offerings to the Indian market. But, had they done their research, they could have saved millions of dollars poured into advertising menus Indians not only disliked, but found offensive.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

After doing the proper market research, define what success should look like for your business. What clear expectations should the business achieve within a month, a quarter, a year or five years? How many leads are necessary to meet revenue targets? How much revenue should the business continue to earn from existing customers? How much revenue should come from new customers?

When setting goals, remember to ensure that they are S.M.A.R.T. In marketing and other social science fields, S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

  1. Specific – Do not create vague goals. Know exactly what the company needs to achieve to grow down to the percentage or percentile range.

  2. Measurable – Ensure that tools exist to measure progress on these goals. Tools include analytics generated from market research, traffic to sites, inventory turnover, and other key data.

  3. Achievable – Make goals that the company stands a good chance of achieving. Make it challenging, but not so challenging that failure becomes highly likely. Look at how the company performed the year or quarter before, and then decide on an attainable goal.

  4. Results-Focused – Define the results that the company should achieve at the end of the marketing investments.

  5. Time-bound – Set a specific time period for the company to achieve the goal e.g. Quarter, Annual etc.

Take Full Advantage of Free Alternatives

The primary way companies ensure return on investments in any area is to keep expenses low. Apply this to marketing by taking full advantage of any free options available to market products and services. This explains why the use of social media remains such an important part of many companies’ marketing plan these days.

However, social media is not the only option available. Sometimes companies can capitalize on free sponsorships, free airtime and other opportunities brought about through partnerships. These partnerships can come about by chance, through networking, or through the wealth of connections marketing and public relations officers bring to the table. Take advantage of these relationships to boost visibility, while keeping investment costs low.

Jonah Engler is a financial expert from NYC.

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