Want to deliver results that will impress your boss?
Before you can even begin to think about making this a reality, you have to cut ties with your bad budgeting habits.
After all, no one ever got ahead by pouring their resources into ineffective sources, right?
So to avoid carrying money-wasting practices into the new year, we've detailed 5 tell-tale signs that you're in trouble with budget, as well as the tips you need to move past them.
1. "What numbers?"
If you don't have a plan for measuring, recording, and reporting on your progress, you're throwing away money.
Think about it.
If your marketing efforts aren't tied to some sort of measurable outcome, how can you expect to evaluate progress?
How will you know if you're on the right track? How will you know what channels are driving the most relevant traffic?
While it's difficult to measure the ROI of a something like billboard, inbound marketing initiatives are easily trackable. This makes it easier for marketers to visualize their effectiveness and pivot accordingly.
To ensure that you're getting the most out of your budget, focus on identifying the initiatives that directly influence the advancement of your business goals. In an effort to fill our marketing funnel with qualified leads for our sales team to connect with, we focus on increasing things like traffic, social reach, and consultation requests.
These KPIs (key performance indicators) aim to provide the structure needed to carry out a marketing strategy that has an impact on your bottom line.
2. You don't know who you're writing for
If you're unclear on who it is you are tailoring your marketing messages to, you run the risk of not resonating with anyone. Talk about a waste of your time and resources, right?
Well-defined buyer personas help to provide structure and guidance when it comes time to come up with content for an email, blog post, ebook, etc.
If you understand how your customers prefer to consume information, you can tailor your distribution to ensure that you're showing up in all the right places.
If you understand the language your ideal customers respond best to, you can harness this information to come up with a tone and style-guide that aligns with the way they communicate.
Essentially these insights will help you to avoid spending time on content that fails to resonate.
3. You tend to fall back on "what you've always done"
"Times they are a changin'.
Often times we find that progressive marketing managers have a handle on how they want to divvy up their marketing budget, however when it comes time to do so, they're met with resistance from their more traditional executives.
They struggle to receive approval on things like implementing marketing automation software or making an investment in content marketing. As a result, they fall back on "what has worked in the past."
However, most traditional tactics have gone stale and fail to turn up any measurable ROI.
If you're serious about growing the business, you have to make a strong case for why your boss should be thinking differently.With that said, never bring a solution to the table without measurable data to back it up. Executives care about numbers and ROI.
4. Your sales and marketing teams are feuding
While sales and marketing are known for their finger pointing, there is a lot that the two can learn from one another.
If there's no open line of communication between the two departments, it's likely that there is a lot of money-saving insight that is falling through the cracks.
If sales knows that ten of your most recent prospects have admitted to struggling with content creation and they fail to pass the information along to marketing, marketing won't be able to create the right resources.
As a result, marketing is left pouring time into content that may or may not speak to your ideal prospect's needs.
So the less time sales and marketing spend arguing, the more time they'll have to attract and close business.
5. You've never run an A/B test
Are your marketing assets performing to the best of their ability?
How do you know?
If you've never tested your existing content against a different variation, then you're leaving opportunities on the table.
By performing an A/B test, you have the ability to gain greater insight in terms of the behavior of your website visitors. The more you know, the more you can apply, and ultimately, the more you will receive in return.
While something as simple as changing the button copy on your CTA seems small, it has the ability to save you a ton of time and money in the long run.
With better results just a test away, it's time that you stop pouring your budget into assumptions and start allocating time and resources to content is data-backed.
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