Today, small businesses have more digital options than ever to choose from for effective marketing. Expanding choice, however, has also increased complexity. Small business owners now have to distinguish between organic and paid search, blogging and content marketing, social media and social messaging etc., determine the channel/platform best suited for their business priorities and then decide how much of their budget to commit to each.
Here, then, is a simple yet actionable guide to creating a multichannel campaign that is focused on your business priorities, flexible, and measurable.
4 Steps to Successfully Allocating Your Marketing Budget
Identify Core Objectives
Growth is generally the primary objective of most marketing campaigns — growth in sales leads, revenue, market share, loyalty, brand awareness, and more. There are a lot of variables—like the lifecycle stage of your product or the typical sales cycle in your business—that can influence the choice of marketing objectives. For instance, conversion would trump brand awareness for a low-value impulse product, while high-value high-involvement categories may require quite the opposite approach.
Whatever your specific business circumstances, every well-defined marketing objective has to follow the principles described by the common business acronym SMART. As per these, your marketing objectives must:
- Have a Specific purpose (grow revenue)
- Have a Measurable outcome (by 25 percent)
- Be Achievable
- Be Realistic
- Be Time-bound (in 6 months)
The realistic and achievable aspects point back to the need to set objectives that are reasonable, relevant and practical within the context of the skills and resources at your disposal and the operational realities of your industry.
A marketing plan with clearly defined objectives is essential for every small business owner looking to maximize the impact of a limited budget. More importantly though, how you prioritize and define your core objectives can have a knock-on effect on the next stage of the process, namely your choice of marketing platforms.
Pick Your Platforms
Your choice of platform will reflect your marketing priorities. If you have a largely local clientele, then listing your company on Google My Business has to be an absolute priority. This completely free service collates and delivers all your company information, including contact information, click-to-call service, and driving directions, as a local search result.