For more than the past year, B2B marketers everywhere have been bracing for impact. The world and the economy have been unpredictable, to say the least, and marketers are unsure of what the future holds. However everything shakes out, savvy leaders have realized they’ll benefit from efficiency in marketing. But with limited resources (that could potentially become more limited, depending on employee reductions and budget cuts), how do you accomplish marketing ROI? Here are three ways.
1. Ask Why
Many organizations have created systems over time to manage their marketing efforts. But do you know what your systems entail, and whether you’re putting the right budget into the right areas? One of the most useful exercises you can do when you need to maximize resources and boost efficiency in marketing is to ask why. Why are you investing in the channels you’re currently investing in? Why are you not allocating budget to all the other ones?
What you might find is that many of your tactics aren’t directly tied to your strategy, or that your strategy is incomplete or missing altogether. To increase efficiency, every single initiative you spend time and money on must support a greater, overarching strategy. And everything that doesn’t can be cut.
2. Increase Earned & Owned Media
Most marketing campaigns require budget and, unfortunately, some companies don’t have the funds to keep up with a variety of paid media. The good news is that you can shift your focus to some of the channels that are free, like earned and owned media. Of course, there’s a caveat. Just because something technically doesn’t cost money doesn’t mean that it won’t cost you and your team valuable time and energy. But if you have the time and energy - and not the money - then it can be an efficient strategy.
An example of investing in earned media might be pitching industry publications, asking to contribute guest posts. You’ll spend your time coming up with topics, pitching the editors and (hopefully) writing the article if they’re interested. But such a route doesn’t cost you anything beyond that, and can get you valuable exposure to your target audience. You can also double down on your owned media. This means using your own website for communications with customers or creating your own content avenues, like podcasts, webinars, live streams and so on. This again takes time and consistency to make an impact, but it certainly can do so.
3. Invest In High-Impact Channels
Finally, don’t give up on traditional marketing and advertising. In fact, history has shown that the companies who keep their feet on the gas pedal of marketing during times of economic uncertainty are the ones that end up winning in the long-term. The key is to make sure you’re prioritizing the paid channels in the most effective way.
An easy (and kind of fun) way to figure this is out is by creating an impact/effort matrix. Make a four-quadrant matrix with high/low impact and high/low effort on either axis. Put each of the marketing activities you’ve already tried or are currently using into their appropriate quadrant. You might find that you can shift budget from one high-effort, low-impact activity to a low-effort, high-impact one. It’s an excellent way to regroup and elevate your efficiency - and results.
It’s never easy to try to maximize resources and marketing ROI when time, team members and funds are limited. But you can attain efficiency in marketing if you revisit your current budget and realign around a clear strategy, put more emphasis on free channels and prioritize your investments around high-impact channels. Need a partner to help you do this? Let’s talk!