There's a famous saying: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." (John Wanamaker)
So if I told you that not only is it possible to know which half, it's possible to avoid spending money on the wasted half in the first place; you'd want to hear more right?
Right! (I hear you call.)
Many clients, when they think about marketing, think about websites, social media, advertising, branding and so on. While all these are part of the mix, they are not fundamentally marketing.
Now devotees of my blog (I know you're out there) will know this is a favourite subject of mine and it's one I'll keep returning to, but in this article I'm focusing on avoiding waste.
I often hear clients talk about past things they've tried; like the manufacturer that spent £5,000 on a Royal Mail mailout with not a single lead generated; or the engineering firm that spent £7,000 on a website that became obsolete within a year.
The trouble with all of these situations is that the client knew they needed to "do marketing" but they had neither the time nor the expertise to consider what kind of marketing they should be doing. (This is where I get to pitch.)
By contracting a strategic marketer these clients could have invested a couple of thousand up front to create an evidence-based strategy that is guaranteed to funnel all of the rest of their marketing budget towards customers that are actually likely to buy.
It's all about doing the groundwork; getting that pick in the ground and digging for a bit before you start to rebuild: and (you guessed it) beginning with solid foundations!
That early work is absolutely critical to the avoidance of waste. There is an awful lot of choice in the marketing world. Making some firm decisions, based on a really solid understanding of what you're selling and who you're selling it to, will save thousands both in lost hours and hard cash in the long run.
And very often, for this upfront bit of work, you need the guy or gal with the white hard hat on to come in and do a bit of directing if you want your building to stay up.