We’re all under pressure to reduce marketing costs and demonstrate how well our campaigns are performing. However, we often waste a good percentage of our marketing budgets engaging in activities, processes or simply following an outdated strategy.

The first step marketers need to do is be honest. Take a hard and objective review at your campaigns and ask yourself are they delivering the required results? If not, decide how to optimise them, or simply stop doing them and review which other channels may suit engaging your target audience with your product and or service instead.

Supporting the review it’s important to examine which campaigns can be traced to increasing sales opportunities. Understand what makes these campaigns more effective than the others and be ruthless to make sure you are not continuing to waste money on marketing initiatives that don’t lead to sales.

Analyse your Database

Whether you’re executing direct mail or email campaigns, you need to ensure your marketing your message to prospects who a) can be contacted and b) want to be contacted.

Routinely analysing and optimising your database is a simple way to manage costs. Define how long someone should stay on an email list without engaging with your messages. Some prospects simply drop off – delete and move on.

The same applies to direct mail. Even if your business is moving away from print, direct mail is still a viable channel, as long as  you’re not sending mail to people who have moved or stopped engaging with your brand. A good rule of thumb is to only mail people on your database who have updated their address within the last 12 months.  

It should go without saying, but any segmentation is only effective if you get your data selections correct. If you send the wrong message to the wrong data set you will lose money, waste time replying to enquiries and your brand’s reputation will suffer.

Spend your Budget Effectively

All businesses need to place their brand efficiently and effectively in the communities where their target audience engages. This can be as simple as local newspaper advertisements, to social media advertising based on keyword and hashtag usage.

Digital marketing provides marketers with so many opportunities to analyse campaigns and divert resources into the best performing campaigns. If you haven’t already done so, check out our blog on measuring ROI.

However, just before you invest all your marketing budget into digital marketing, understand the audience you’re trying to reach. Have you optimised your message? Are you segmenting according to audience profile? Are you using text, or a mix of video, images, infographics etc? Or are you promoting blogs, content, whitepapers, customer testimonials? Within this layer of analysis are critical questions which the statistics don’t tell you – namely which tactics work best in each individual environment, and help us achieve our ultimate goal?

One Direction

The final, key barometer, to measure how much waste there is in your budgets, is to understand how many customers you’re driving through each campaign.

In many ways, there are similar conclusions to be made when calculating marketing ROI. All our campaigns need to focus on driving customer acquisitions – otherwise we’re spending money just for posterity.

For marketers to eliminate waste they need to fundamentally consider how they are driving high-quality sales leads which turn into customers.

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