With marketing budgets forecast for zero growth in 2019, it doesn’t look like organisations will be looking to outspend their competition for market share.  In the current political and economic climate it comes as no great surprise.

According to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Quarter 4 2018 Bellwether report, 0% is forecast for this year following 6 years of uninterrupted growth across the UK.

That said, out-thinking your competition rather than outspending them has surely always been preferable, right?  So it begs the question: When was the last time you reviewed your marketing strategy? If it was over 12 months ago, your marketing is out of date. Digital marketing and social media has changed the landscape meaning the pace of change in our profession incredible.  Last year’s thinking is out of date, the year before’s is a relic.

A closer look at the IPA’s report actually reveals that spending is forecast to continue increasing in internet activity such as digital advertising, video content and search engine optimisation.  Meanwhile events, PR, market research and main media advertising will continue to feel the squeeze.

It’s that time of year when were typically helping our clients plan ahead, assess growth opportunities, set budgets and commit to a plan.  We’re building on the initiatives that brought return on investment, ditching the stuff that didn’t and testing new technology and techniques which fit the plan.

Given that business owners will be looking at spend closer this year, when it comes to marketing you need to ask yourself:

  • Is our strategy up to date?  It should fit right in with the business strategy and be delivering growth for you.  To be clear, I am not saying you need to divert all of your spending to new digital opportunities.  However, you and your team need to know what those new channels and technology can deliver for you. Rest assured, traditional tactics are still performing well.  We recently did a good ‘old fashioned’ direct mailer for a client which yielded 221 telephone enquiries.
  • How are we performing?  The great thing about so much new marketing technology is that you’ve never been in a better place to track return on investment. Putting key performance indicators in place to cover stuff as simple as: “Are we talking to more people?”; “Are they engaging with what we are saying?”; and “Are we generating more enquiries?” is easy.  Once in place, agile marketing based on what is working and what is not should be the norm. The old adage of “50% of my budget works, the trouble is, I don’t know which 50%” really did die in the last century. That said, 90% of new businesses we see have no idea how their website is performing for them.
  • Are we spending too little or too much? This varies from sector to sector but generally if you are spending below 2% of turnover you are probably under investing; 3 – 5% says you’ve set aside a decent budget.  Over 5%, you’re going for it! None of these percentages are necessary wrong. But you are planning to fail if your marketing strategy is based on shaky foundations.

Simply put, those who know their numbers are investing, those who don’t, aren’t.

If you’d like a free consultation and report on getting your marketing optimised for 2019/20 feel free to contact me at martyn@fuelcommunications.com or 01752 987909