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Testing the Marketing

I've seen over the years that there's no right or wrong when it comes to marketing.  What works for one type of business may not work for another.

What I've seen for sure is that rarely can you do just one thing once and expect that the buyers are going to come flooding through the doors, virtual or otherwise.  So running a newspaper ad once and then saying "well I'll never do that again, it didn't work!!" is very short sighted.

At Clifton's we've tried a number of different marketing methods over the years - radio, TV, flyers, print media, handouts, mailouts, email campaigns, website, event sponsorship, signage, seminars, referrals, dinners, Facebook, alliances, awards - always more than one at a time and using a drip branding (radio) along with targeted others.

So how should marketing be approached? Here's a few common methods;

  1. Follow The Leader - also the Sheep Mentality.  Look at what the competition is doing and do that as well.  Effective if you want to get lost in the crowd.  Easy to implement because it takes no imagination.
  2. Spend a % - after looking at industry averages and what others may be doing, this approach involves making sure a % of sales is spent on advertising and marketing.  Even though there's no specific target, goal or direction, at least the number looks right.
  3. Minimus Costus - if there's any spare cash then that's what the marketing budget is.  But only after everything else is paid and even then with a begrudging signature on the cheque.
  4. No Idea - do whatever offer comes along, whatever someone suggests, after all a sales rep wouldn't lie, would they?  A bit like Follow The Leader, there's little or no thought into what's being done.

So if none of these appeal to you, how about this.

Plan, Test and Monitor - you know what you're trying to achieve, have a plan (generally for the next 12 months), have the funds planned that fits in with your business and cash flow, and know that results won't flow from the get go.  After you do something the results are looked and and any necessary changes are made before the next wave starts.

It's up to you which approach you take.  Seriously though, if you're doing anything but Plan, Test and Monitor you could just burn the cash instead.

Clifton Accountants - THE Business Specialists

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