Did you know that the higher marketing cost for small business is usually caused by the business, not the marketing agency?
The reason for this is that a successful marketing plan and campaigns require certain elements, and those elements should be provided by the business.
When you request marketing services from an agency you should already have clarity in your business, i.e. have a business plan, target market, a clear brand, etc.
If you are missing any of the elements a marketing strategy needs, you are either going to get a bad service or the agency will have to work on the missing elements. That alone means you are either going to pay more for the work they will provide. Or, if you hire the wrong agency, you’ll pay in the long run by running a campaigned destined to fail from the beginning.
Often, I have businesses coming to me without the business plan, without clarity of their ideal market, without the real idea on what they are really selling, and saying they want to run a Facebook ads campaign.
A lot of providers will run ad campaigns for business like this. We do not do that. Running ads for business that is unclear on the goals and the market is throwing money into the fire.
Yes, a one-off campaign could pass as successful at times. The problem is that it is a one-off campaign that cannot be integrated into a bigger marketing system that will feed your business long term. The money and time you invested into it is gone and you must start over next time you want to run a campaign.
How do you ensure your cost is not higher than necessary?
- Be clear on what your business does.
- Have a marketing strategy.
- Play the long term game.
First make sure you have all the elements before you start creating the campaign. If you are unsure of your brand, hire a branding agency. When your website is not up to par, make sure you have a modern website. No idea who your ideal market is, do not move a single step forward until you get it figured out.
Once you know what you are selling and who are you selling it to, create an overall marketing plan aligned with your main business plan.
Make sure you know exactly what type of campaign you need before hiring a specialist to execute a campaign. You need a marketing strategy that will outline specific goals and how to reach them.
If you go to a Facebook ad specialist, they will tell you Facebook ad campaign is exactly what you need. So will an Instagram social media manager, SEO specialist, or a UX designer.
This is the reason you need a marketing strategist first.
Last but not least is playing the long-term game. Many hire different people for different pieces of marketing and not think long term. Few weeks before Black Friday they will hire someone to run a coupon campaign. Then, as Christmas comes closer, they will hire someone to run an Amazon campaign for a week. Then in January and February, they will find someone to “grow their Instagram”.
There is no plan in this. And you are constantly dropping or restarting different parts of your marketing. So, none of them ever takes off.
You need to give a chance for the plan to start working, then track and adjust.
The best course of action to lower the marketing cost for small business
Be clear on your business goals. Have a marketing plan. If you have lower resources, simplify the plan as much as possible so you can implement it 24/7. It is better to have a simple plan working all the time than launch campaigns every few months with no guarantee they will work.
Give it time. Every campaign at this stage should have at least 90 days to run. It gives platforms time to learn about your business and show your campaign to the right people (it’s in their interest to deliver good results so you would invest more in ads), it gives your marketing team time to look at data, test and adjust as needed.
Marketing is not an on/off button that you engage from time to time.
It is much cheaper in the long run to have a plan that is implemented day in and day out. You will achieve momentum and have the things that stress you now – work on autopilot.