Readers of the Lindsay Woodward Marketing monthly newsletter were asked to send in their questions about marketing. I handpicked the best 10 questions, and here are my answers.
How do I really get an ROI on my marketing?
When it comes to return on investment (ROI), the biggest mistakes that most businesses make (and even large corporates do this) is focusing on individual activities rather than looking at a marketing plan as a whole. If you were to look at each marketing activity separately, you might tell yourself that you only ever get leads from email marketing and never from LinkedIn or Twitter, therefore social media isn’t working. However, for all you know, the social media activity did all the vital brand awareness work, meaning that when you sent that email it finally encouraged your prospect to act.
A single activity rarely renders good results. You need to have a combination. And how do you know if it’s worked? Set yourself an objective. Have a goal in mind. If you achieve what you wanted to achieve, you have your return on investment. If you don’t have a goal then you’ll never know if anything is ever worth doing as you’re not measuring it.
What should my marketing budget be?
If you Google this, you’ll probably get quite a straightforward answer. But that answer has no scientific bearing at all. It’s actually a load of nonsense. Your marketing budget needs to be based on what you want to achieve and what is actually viable. I wrote a blog about this earlier this year to give you the full detail.
How do I price myself?
This is a question I get asked a lot. Sadly there isn’t a definitive formula. You have to know your market, know your customers and understand how you want to fit into that market. And then you need to be brave. I always say to my customers that it’s much harder to put your prices up than bring them down. So start off at the very top end of where you think you fit into the market. You’ll learn quickly if people think you’re too expensive, and then you have loads of scope to discount or reduce costs. But imagine if your customers are actually willing to pay that top end price?
Don’t be too overboard and price yourself out of the market, but if you’re too cautious then you might just be shooting yourself in the foot.
To find out more about the perception of pricing in marketing, read my blog from last year.
How do you measure effectiveness in marketing?
I have been told so many times through my career that you can’t measure marketing. But that simply isn’t true. What you need to have in order to measure, though, is a goal. You need something to measure against. If you want to know how something is working, you need to set yourself an expected result and then see if you’ve achieved it or not.
If you want more specific tips, take a look at my blog from 2021.
What is branding?
Too often I find that people think branding is a logo. But it is so much more than that. Your brand is everything you stand for, who you are, what you’re about and why people should buy from you. It must have a solid, consistent approach in terms of look, feel and tone. Just having a colour palette that you always stick to, for starters, will make you look professional. Then if you always use similar words and talk in a set tone of voice, and everything you do always has a uniform style, it makes it easier for people to understand you, and, more importantly, trust you. A logo just helps to tie everything together.
What is the difference between short term and long term marketing?
Short term marketing isn’t about having a quick 90 day plan and then you’ll review it and work on another 90 day plan and so on. Short term marketing is about doing small, isolated activity to boost lead generation while the long term marketing takes effect.
The reason you need both elements is because to really elevate your brand and achieve sustainable growth it takes time. You need that long term thinking for true success. But while you’re doing that, how are you making any money? You need some short term marketing to keep you afloat while the long term stuff takes effect.
Is it better to have posts that go viral or have lots of little posts?
The only thing that ever matters is what helps you achieve your goals. I know of many businesses that have had incredible engagement with their social media posts, but it hasn’t led to any business at all. Then I’ve known other businesses that get a trickle of interaction, but the people who do engage tend to go to the website and become leads.
If you’re doing social media to grow your business, then the only thing that matters is whether it actually helps you to grow your business. Everything else is just known as ‘social signals’.
What are the most effective marketing tactics?
There is no formula in marketing. There is no set tactic that will work better than another as standard. This is simply because every single business is unique.
If you want to know what tactics to use then you need a marketing strategy first. You need to understand what you want to achieve (and in what timeframe), who you are selling to, what you’re selling to them, and what message you’re conveying. Then when you’ve established your firm foundation, the tactics should simply present themselves. It should seem obvious what you need to do to gain success.
Don’t believe me? Check out my book on “How to Write an Effective Marketing Plan”. It’s an easy to digest step by step guide that will show you how to determine the right actions in your marketing plan.
Should I always go after the low hanging fruit?
Absolutely not. If you are always focused on the low hanging fruit, you are forever chasing leads and you’ll never be in control of your growth. You’ll never reach your potential. It goes back to the short term and long term marketing plan. The low hanging fruit is a great short term solution why the long term plan kicks in. But it’s not a viable solution for a business that wants sustainable success.
How is it best to spend limited marketing budget?
This again goes back to having a marketing strategy. You need to know what you want to achieve first and you need to outline how you’re going to achieve it in terms or who you’re targeting, how and why. Then you can work out where the best place to spend your budget is. Your decisions need to be guided by facts. Guesswork will always come down to luck. Real success comes from you controlling what you’re doing.
Lindsay Woodward Marketing
Lindsay Woodward Marketing is led by Lindsay Woodward, a highly qualified Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, with more than 20 years of experience behind her. We don’t just help businesses generate leads, we help them to reach their goals, no matter how ambitious they may seem. If you’re looking for more with your marketing, please do get in touch. We’d love explore how we can help.