Businesses have a lot of departments dedicated to helping them succeed. Ultimately, that’s the purpose behind every department. It’s especially true of a business’s marketing department. Marketing is devoted to getting customers in the doors so the business can land sales and encourage existing customers to return. The nature of how a marketing department operates, however, requires money to be spent. The good news is that some marketing expenses have the potential to have a big impact on your business for the better.
If you want to make the best use of your marketing money, you must first have data that you can use to direct your efforts. Market research can give you some of the tools you need to make sure you understand what consumer needs are, what the current demand for products is, and where you need to be to best reach your ideal customer base. The expenses associated with market research can vary widely, depending on the methods you choose to utilize. If you use your budget effectively on wisely chosen research methods, though, spending money on market research can save you money as a company.
Today’s consumers want to connect with businesses. They want them to be more personable and to treat their customers like they care about more than just the bottom line. Social media gives businesses an outlet to do just that. It’s a great way to build customer relationships and develop your reputation as a business. Given the sheer number of people who use social media, over 3.6 billion, the amount of reach that social media can give your business is huge. If you want to tap into that, you’ll need to pay for targeted ads. You can use this type of ad to get in front of the people who are most likely to be interested in what your business has to offer. This can dramatically increase your exposure and the number of sales you’re able to generate.
In today’s business world, virtually all businesses can benefit from having a website. It isn’t enough to simply have a website though. For a website to be effective, it needs to have good design, both in terms of overall web design and graphic design. There is a certain degree of you get what you pay for when it comes to websites. If you want yours to be high quality, you’re going to have to pay for it. It should pay off in the end though. Bad graphic design can hurt your company image and reduce your value. Good design, on the other hand, helps your business come across as professional and competent. It also tends to improve user experience. All of this combined generally leads to greater sales conversions and profits for your company.
Reputation is a huge deal for businesses. It may not seem like something directly tied to marketing at first, but if you stop to think about it, it can make or break your marketing. If you have a fantastic reputation as a business, marketing your products becomes much easier. If your reputation is struggling or even straight-up bad, your marketing is going to have to work extra hard to overcome any negative stigma you’ve acquired. Reputation management isn’t without its costs, but considering that the majority of consumers look to reviews to decide what business to choose, it has the potential to offer your business far more in sales than it costs. Aside from reviews, you can use things like a blog, social media accounts, and business listings to help build and enhance your reputation. If you don’t have one already, build a reputation management plan so you can start influencing what customers think about your business.
Having a website, even a quality website, is all well and good, but it isn’t enough in and of itself. Your business needs to be visible if that website is going to do you any good. You need to show up on search engine results pages, ideally at the top. The top result on Google SERPs is the most desired ranking and for good reason. That first result alone gets just over 30% of clicks. The number of clicks drops from there. Of course, only one page can have that coveted spot for a search at any given time, so at a minimum, you should aim to be on the first page of results. Most people will enter a new search query instead of continuing to the next page of results. If you aren’t on that first page, you might as well be invisible. So how do you improve your ranking? The answer is with SEO strategies. There are a lot of different SEO strategies you can use to boost your ranking. Which ones are most effective will depend on your website and what its current strengths and weaknesses are. SEO can be a relatively cost-effective marketing expense if you choose to do it in-house. Alternatively, you can outsource your SEO to companies whose sole purpose is to help other businesses boost their rankings.
Employee Salaries and Benefits
While you may not generally consider employee salaries and benefits to be a marketing expense, it’s an easy argument to make, especially in regards to your marketing team. Your employees can be amazing ambassadors for your company, but that’s only going to work if they are good employees who feel valued and want to promote your business. It’s also important to remember that your employees are the ones who interact with customers regularly. The better your employees, the better your business comes across. If you want to attract the best employees, marketing or otherwise, you need to offer competitive salaries and benefits. Sure, it may cost more, but the investment you make in your employees can make a huge difference in the way your business performs and the experiences your customers have.
Expenses are a natural aspect of marketing. When the things you choose to spend your marketing dollars on are chosen wisely and executed properly, they have the power to make a big impact on your business in the best way. If you’re concerned about your marketing expenses, analyze what your current expenses are and their effectiveness. That will help you guide your marketing department towards the best ways to use your marketing budget.
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