The One Marketing Principle That’ll Save You Thousands of Dollars and Hundreds of Hours

Navigating the dynamic landscape of marketing as a startup founder often means encountering a barrage of trendy tactics that can obscure your focus and divert your attention from the core objective: fostering business growth and maximizing profits.

It’s essential to approach marketing as a strategic investment. Whether you’re allocating funds to a social media campaign or investing in a television ad slot, the underlying purpose should always be to amplify your return on investment (ROI). In essence, every marketing endeavor should be geared towards enhancing your company’s profitability.

Measurable results

The principle that should guide every marketing decision you make is whether it produces quantifiable results.

Ideally, you should not spend money or time towards any marketing channel that does not give you a return on your investment. But, to determine whether or not your marketing tactics are producing results, you must first collect detailed information about your marketing strategies. Social media impressions, click-through rate and conversions are all metrics you should be paying close attention to.

Be careful with more traditional advertising methods, like TV ads or billboards, because the metrics are more difficult to measure. Detailed metrics should be top of mind in your company’s marketing strategy, and anything that doesn’t provide you with specific results should be avoided in most cases.

A note on brand awareness

While marketing should always be thought of as an investment that will provide increased returns, there is something to be said for a marketing strategy that focuses on brand awareness. You can think of this type of marketing strategy as a long-term investment because while it may not immediately generate sales, it can help significantly grow your brand in the long run.

With that being said, it’s still important to measure the reach of your brand awareness campaign and the impact it is having on your target audience. There are very few situations in which mindlessly spewing your marketing content makes sense. Instead, keep your brand awareness campaign focused on your target audience, gather specific data about who your ads are reaching and investigate whether the impression led to any measurable success, like exploring your page.

Gathering and cataloging this type of information will inform future marketing decisions and help propel you toward your ultimate goal of expanding your company and boosting sales. While you may not immediately see increased sales, a good brand awareness campaign will still generate precise measurements that can help you make informed decisions about the future of your marketing strategy.

Marketing strategies that might not matter

Because the time and money you spend on marketing is an investment that will produce increased revenue in the future, there are some popularized strategies that may not be doing any favors for your bottom line. While there are counterexamples to each of these, here are a couple of areas of marketing to keep an eye out for wasted time or money.

1. Over posting

Bombarding your current followers with marketing content on social media could be counterproductive to growing your business. First, generating this much content takes up valuable time and energy that might be better spent elsewhere. Second, these efforts may not produce any measurable results. For example, If you spend half an hour posting on social media every day and have 1,000 followers, but none of them convert to customers, then you are wasting your time. Third, and most concerningly, you may lose the followers you already have because they’re not interested in seeing similar (or overly promotional) content repeated over and over again.

While there is something to be said for regularly posting to boost your position in the algorithm, it is important to constantly gather data to see if this strategy is having the impact you intended. Be careful with an organic social media growth strategy because it is time-intensive and could actually do more harm than good.

2. Blogging

Although some bloggers and companies have carved out a powerful niche, the blogging space is now overcrowded and is likely not the best marketing strategy for a young business. If you spend hours writing blog posts that nobody ever sees, you’re wasting time. Unless you want to enter into the complicated and time-consuming world of running a successful blog, your marketing efforts are likely better spent elsewhere.

3. Billboards

Billboards are another questionable marketing strategy because it is difficult to measure their impact. Billboards are one of the least targeted marketing channels, and it is difficult to know the relationship between billboard ad spending and the return on that investment. It can be tempting to buy a billboard ad when you’re short on cash, but be careful because your top marketing priority — measuring the results — will be nearly impossible to accomplish.

Account for your time

Marketing is an essential, yet time and money-intensive endeavor. Your time is just as valuable as your money, so the $10,000 you spent on Facebook ads is about not only the money that you spent on the ads but also the time you put into putting them together. Take into account the time you spent, along with the cost in measuring the total cost of your marketing campaign.

To make the most of this resource suck, make it a priority as much as possible to measure exactly how your efforts are performing and if they are serving your company’s ultimate goals. It’s tempting to just spend more money or more time, but if you can’t track and measure the impact of that time or money, then it’s all for naught.

Thanks for reading! Do you want to create thought leadership articles like the one above? If you struggle to translate your ideas into content that will help build credibility and influence others, sign up to get John’s latest online course “Writing From Your Voice” here.

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