In the year to May 2023, the cost of sugar rose by almost 50%. Gas prices went up by 36%, eggs by almost 29%, and bread costs 15% more than it did a year ago.
When costs are rising quickly, you likely have to make more choices about how you allocate your budget – as much at home as you do in your business.
My fiancé’s sister has been having this exact issue this year. She works for her husband’s car dealership which he bought a few years ago. But this year, with the cost of living rising, fewer people buying cars, and their staff wanting wage increases to offset the increase in costs, they’ve had to work out how to make efficiencies.
One of the things you may have thought about cutting back on is your marketing spend. It’s often one of the first costs business owners look to trim – but this can often be counterproductive when it results in fewer leads, a drop in new clients, and lower income.
Instead, it can pay to ensure that you’re using your marketing budget as effectively as you can. Here are three tips for doing just that.
1. Revisit your marketing strategy
It shocked me when my in-laws said they had spent around £8,000 on their marketing last year but didn’t get a return on their investment. The reason? There was no planning behind it.
Whether it was the money they wasted on Google pay-per-click by not targeting the right search terms, or spending money on social media campaigns that failed to reach the right people, there wasn’t enough planning around their marketing strategy.
Taking the time to understand who your target audience is, and what would appeal to them is the number one thing to do before putting a penny into anything. You can spend thousands of pounds and get nothing if you are trying to advertise your business to anyone and everyone.
If you take the time to understand who you want to target (more of this below) and what methods are best to target them, you could spend much less on marketing and benefit from a much better conversion rate.
One of our first steps with all clients is to recommend a review and the creation of a marketing strategy to establish what would work best for your specific business.
2. Know your target audience
Who do you want to target?
I remember an old boss at a business insurance broker stating in a marketing meeting that he wanted to target every business we could. As it turns out, that isn’t what he wanted when half of the businesses that contacted us were costing the business almost as much to deal with them as they paid.
So, ask yourself who you want to target.
Are you looking for younger clients, wanting to build a life-long relationship with them, and be with them on their financial journey?
Perhaps you’re interested in accumulators or people a decade from retirement?
Or do you have specialist niches, such as helping sportspeople, professionals, or business owners?
The messaging for all these groups is different, and where you’ll find them even more so.
By understanding who you specifically want to target, you can create a bespoke plan that focuses on these specific prospects.
3. Provide as much information as you need to
Going back to the car dealership: one of the issues they had concerned the lack of information on their website.
The website had five pages, but across all of them there was barely enough information to fill an A5 sheet of paper. If you knew about the business, or what to expect from a dealership/garage, then everything on that site made sense. But if you had no prior knowledge, there wasn’t enough information to help you understand everything they offered and the services you could benefit from.
Imagine someone landing on your website. They may know that financial advice/planning exists, or some of the basics, but will likely have no idea what it actually entails.
Would you just say: “We offer financial advice/planning” and let the prospect join the dots?
No. You would go into a bit more detail. For example, you might explain your step-by-step process, so that when a prospect comes to an initial meeting, they know exactly what to expect.
It’s also why it’s so important to have social proof on your website. Prospects can then hear from clients just like them and discover how you’ve changed their lives.
Investing in your website, social proof, and online presence can pay dividends – just make sure your messaging is aligned to the right people.
Get in touch
If it’s time to review your marketing strategy, or to work out how to best spend your budget, we can help.
Get in touch today – email email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300.