The second instalment in our series on avoiding marketing waste focuses on marketing without a plan. Here are some great ways to spend money without getting a return.
Sales are down, quick - send out a mailing and everything will be alright. Er, no.
Direct mail certainly has a place in a B2B marketing programme. The reduced volumes of direct mail that business decision makers receive nowadays, compared with the constant assault of email on their in-boxes, means that the opportunities for cut-through are high.
Success won't, however, come overnight. The chances of your mail-piece landing when the recipient has a need are low, so you need to think of it as part of a nurturing process.
Here is a better strategy:
The phone call comes in from the advertising sales person. Guess what? He's got some last minute space available and because he's so keen to get you on board as an advertiser, he's spoken to his boss and been given permission to offer it to you for a song.
Well, don't sing. Advertising is a long term strategy and requires commitment to a campaign - probably for at least a year in trade publications. The one-off ad will serve only to feed your ego and help the sales person hit his targets.
Here's a better way to spend the money:
Trade shows are expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the stand space and the stand you build on it, but there are marketing materials, give-a-ways and the cost of your team's time in manning the stand for the event.
So why do so many businesses think of the event as the be-all and end-all of their activity?
Here's how to turn some of that hard-earned money into new customers:
Before the event
After the event
Sponsorship opportunities will be presented to you in many different guises, from helping a local youngster fulfill his or her potential to putting your name to an award or sporting event.
The first thing to be clear on is whether you are going to treat the opportunity as a sponsorship or a charitable donation. If it's the latter and you can support it, fantastic: different rules apply. If it's a sponsorship, then it's your responsibility to make sure your business gets the maximum benefit from it.
This is how:
Are you a marketer or business owner that has seen opportunities to waste money on marketing? If you have, tell us about them. We'll be writing part three of this series soon.