Lately, we’ve received a lot of inquiries from trade publication writers asking for tips and tricks on how businesses can cut their marketing budgets and eliminate waste. While I applaud these writers in their quest to more efficiently and effectively utilize a business’ marketing expenditures, the premise of their articles assumes that marketing is a line item expense that can be cut like it were office supplies.
The reality is that marketing is an investment in the future success of your business, just like investing in the stock market — or investing in one’s education — goes towards the future success of an individual.
Is there waste in utilizing the marketing funds allocated?
Absolutely, but this is due to the fact that for most businesses’ marketing is an open-loop function.
An open loop is similar to driving your car to get from Point A to Point B at a specific time, but there are unknown elements like weather and traffic congestion that impact your ability to achieve your goal. While driving, you’re listening to the radio for traffic reports or using a smartphone app to spot problems and navigate around them. You’re occasionally glancing at the clock or your watch to check the time. And, you’re constantly glancing at the speedometer checking your speed, pressing or relaxing the accelerator based on the car’s current speed and your assumed time and distance from other vehicles.
Whew! Wiping my brow. Writing the last paragraph made me sweat. The same thing happens to businesses when using open-loop marketing.
Waste can be minimized, or even eliminated, while improving your return-on-investment by closing the loop and applying Kaizen continuous improvement principles.
This is why we developed our Nexus Control Loop™. This 6-step process turns your success into a measurable performance standard that can be regulated and fine-tuned based on feedback from sensors in your marketing ecosystem not unlike regulating a business or home HVAC system — or using ground and rain sensors in landscape irrigation systems so as not to waste water (e.g. having the sprinkler system on while it is raining out).
These sensors are placed in your marketing ecosystem based on your goals and the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re measuring — and include items like pURLs (personal URLs), marketing automation, lead scoring, link shorteners, keywords, visitor identification, Google and other analytics to name a few.
Another reason companies are ‘wasting’ their marketing investment is because they lack the appropriate knowledge regarding their products/services, target audience, marketplace and competitors to make educated business decisions. Without knowledge your marketing investment is worthless.
To that end we recommend a 5-step process to help you obtain the business intelligence and critical insight you need. These steps include.
- Classify and segment your customers and target audience.
- Ask questions of your customers, employees, channel partners, and vendors.
- Investigate and research 3rd-party data sources.
- Think like a customer.
- Analyze the data gathered and compare it to your current situation.
Acquiring this indispensable knowledge to make what Peter Drucker calls SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluate and Reevaluate) decisions, and closing the marketing loop will allow you to efficiently and effectively utilize your marketing investment leading to your long-term success.