Your marketing department has a limited budget. Your customers are not going to respond equally to every marketing tactic. And not every tactic will deliver the ROI you’re looking for. So how do you allocate marketing campaign dollars in the most effective way?


When Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) get the marketing mix right, everyone wins. CMOs can justify marketing cost and prove the return to gain credibility. Customers are primed to buy. Marketing teams can report higher ROI.


Read on to learn how to stretch your marketing budget for optimal sales revenue.


Create the Right Mix of Marketing Tactics

Do you have a good mix of marketing tactics? Or are you focusing your marketing dollars on one or two tactics?


Concentrating your marketing budget too much in too few areas is unproductive at best. A comprehensive marketing strategy will allocate your resources more effectively.


Here are a just a few options to consider:


  • Social selling
  • SEO
  • Remarketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Trade shows
  • PPC (pay-per-click) advertising
  • Email marketing


Look for gaps between your company and similar companies. Don’t just blindly follow those companies, but consider what the differences are.


  • Where is your company different than your competitors?
  • Are your competitors having success with a tactic that you aren’t using?
  • Are your competitors lacking results and wasting money in an area you have had success in?


For example, you pulled out of trade shows, but your competitors have gone back. Or your pay-per-click spend is low, but your industry is trending higher. Differences could mean opportunities for your marketing efforts. Or they could be guideposts to help you identify what’s working and what’s not.


This competitor marketing data is easy to get today. You can get this information from Marketing Sherpa or the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). In the former, you can do a company analysis by industry and by category. In the latter, focus on the right company size for an accurate comparison.


Make sure you look at your buyer persona research to validate buyer consumption habits. Customer behavior should drive every marketing decision. Align your marketing tactic mix with your customer profiling for the best results.


And don’t overlook the advantages of content marketing. This is one of the easiest, cheapest ways of reaching your audience today.


Analyze Each Channel for Effectiveness

Now break down each of your marketing channels and tactics. What is common between the poor campaigns? What is common between the successful campaigns?


Consider these three things when making these determinations:


  1. Channel or list — Who did you target with your campaign?
  2. Offer — What did you offer your audience?
  3. Creative — How was the campaign packaged and delivered?


Use our Marketing Channel Scorecard to conduct a deeper review  of your channels. This tool will help you apply a systematic – even scientific- approach to evaluating your marketing channels.  


Download your copy of the Marketing Channel Scorecard here.


Don’t just follow the herd. Understand how your company is different from the herd to identify opportunities.


Compare Your Company to Category Leaders

Finally, identify a category that has similar buyers to your own, but is ahead of your company. For example, say you’re in the logistics industry selling software to Chief Logistics Officers. Find someone else selling software to big companies and strategically follow their lead.


Compare this market leader’s campaigns to your own. Get an understanding of what is similar and different between your two companies’ marketing tactics.


What NOT to Do When Allocating Marketing Budget

Avoid these three pitfalls when allocating your marketing campaign budget:


  1. Don’t select your tactics based on cheapest cost per lead. The best lead sources often have a higher cost per lead.
  2. Don’t just focus on top-of-funnel metrics. Look at key performance indicators (KPIs) at the top and the bottom of the sales funnel. Optimize your marketing budget based on the conversion rate between opportunities and sales.
  3. Don’t eliminate awareness tactics. An integrated approach will be more fruitful for your marketing department. Conduct A/B testing to confirm the effectiveness of all channels.


Assessing your marketing strategy and allocating the right budget spend is an ongoing challenge. Keep checking in here at the SBI blog for the latest in marketing intelligence. Better yet, sign up for SBI Blog Updates to have posts delivered to your inbox.


Vince Koehler

Brings deep marketing expertise to help clients make brands successful and drive strong marketing return on investment.
Learn more about Vince Koehler >

Prior to SBI, Vince served as the VP of Marketing for Integer and led e-commerce Agency of Record account teams at VML, a full service digital marketing agency. During his tenure, VML became a market leader, growing from 72 to more than 700 employees. Prior to VML, Vince was the President of Propeller Interactive, a digital marketing agency with clients such as Koch & Sprint.

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