As the majority of small businesses begin to dust off their marketing budget and start making plans again for growth, the question every owner will be asking is “how can we make the biggest possible impact for the lowest amount of risk?”
While marketing strategies are consulted and consumer buying behaviours are speculated, it is very apparent that the things that lead to success pre-COVID 19 are not the things that are going to lead to success in the future.
So what is?
How can business owners tread a path forward that is both conservative in spend but powerful in results?
Australian small businesses are faced with literally hundreds of opportunities when it comes to marketing. Everything from traditional advertising to social media to Google advertising and directory listings. And allocating a budget to the right things is a gamble.
Not only that but there is no formula that will tell you where to spend your marketing budget and who to spend it with to guarantee the best results.
Except that there might be.
The most successful businesses spread their marketing budget across the five main stages of the customer journey, electing to spend money:
- attracting strangers
- converting visitors
- nurturing leads
- delivering product, or
- celebrating lifetime customers.
The perfect marketing strategy allocates budget across these five areas in a balanced way depending on the kind of business they have and the kind of customers they are serving.
For example, a relatively new business may spend more money and budget attracting strangers, whilst a business with a higher purchase price may spend more money nurturing leads.
Using this formula, small businesses with a limited marketing budget can begin to allocate spend on the areas that will generate the most impact in a structured and considered way.
For any business running any kind of system across any industry, positive returns are always generated from overcoming a system bottleneck. I.e if you had a machine in a product line that kept breaking down, replacing that machine could dramatically increase the output of the entire product line.
The same should be said for marketing. A customer journey is exactly the same as a system, so any bottleneck in the system, when replaced, will dramatically improve the return of the entire marketing system.
If you only have a small budget to spend on marketing, spending it on fixing that bottleneck needs to be your number one priority. Everything you spend after that will be much more impactful.
And bottlenecks aren’t that hard to spot.
In fact, most companies already know what their biggest marketing bottleneck is. A lot of the time it is something as obvious as their website. Their messaging. Their sales team.
Sometimes you have to dig deeper into data and industry benchmarks.
Either way, using this to make decisions on where to spend money is a surefire way to make a positive impact.