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What should you spend your marketing budget on in 2012?

By Rob Drummond on Wed 14 December 2011 in Marketing

The Christmas period is a time when smart businesses review the year, and make plans for the next. As you know, every business suffers from two limiting factors – time and money! 

Sadly every plan you make comes with an opportunity cost – the cost of NOT being able to do something else.

Never is this more true than in a recession.

The question then, is what should you spend your marketing budget on in 2012? What is likely to bring you the best return on investment?

Well, we don’t know for certain. It depends on what marketing you already do, and what your business objectives are. Whatever you are doing at the moment however, we DO know two things that will help with your marketing:

1. Invest in marketing you can measure…

Firstly, if you are watching your budget there has never been a better time to invest in direct marketing; marketing that aims to generate a response from an individual that you can measure.

What is the only form of direct marketing businesses are not cutting back investment on?

Email.

The number of emails sent – even excluding spam – now outnumbers Facebook posts, tweets and web pages four to one.

This is good and bad news. The good news is that email is  still the most cost-effective of your direct marketing options. The bad news is that because it is the last thing to be cut from the marketing budget, competition for eyeball time in your customer’s inbox has become fierce.

Email is free at the point of delivery, so why would you want to pay for your email marketing?

A good question. To compete for eyeball time, you need to:

2. Make your emails more effective with smarter use of customer data.

Your recipients need to recognise your name, and know that your emails are going to be worth reading. Creating relevant, valuable information for your emails however is not easy.

You need to know what the recipient has bought in the past, how long ago, and how much they spent.

We have been writing about how to create emails based on this information in previous posts, however the truth is that you can pull in this information manually. Unfortunately, doing it manually requires time and effort; time you could be spending on better things.

Those of you who have been following our best practice emails will know that we offer a high end email marketing solution. It isn’t the cheapest. But what you get for your money is all your customers’ information in a central location, at the right place and time, in front of the right people. No manual work. Your customer facing staff can then see:

  • What emails a customer has opened
  • Which links they clicked on
  • What products they have bought
  • What conversations they have had with you
  • What problems they have phoned in about
  • What web baskets they have opened but not completed

Do you think your sales team would close more opportunities with access to this information?

Every ProspectSoft Email Marketing solution comes with our profiling plugin free of charge (normally £1000). The profiling plugin allows you to capture the likes and preferences of your email recipients, allowing them to only receive emails on particular topics, or only receive certain types of email, for example product update emails.

Providing good, relevant information is the key to making your emails more effective.

Preparing for 2012…

You are no doubt making plans for 2012. To give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals, you need the correct tools.

You need tools that help you make better use of information your business already has.

ProspectSoft Email Marketing is not the cheapest email solution available to you. If you just want to send emails, good, cheap solutions exist elsewhere.

However if you want to improve the relevancy of your emails with  real customer data, we don’t know a more cost effective way.

Until 5PM on Friday 23rd December we are offering three months of no monthly email marketing charges. Of all the plans you need to make for next year, planning how to use email marketing more effectively needs to be at the top of your list.

If you would like a demonstration of ProspectSoft Email Marketing, our sales advisors can talk you through all the options. But whatever you decide, make a decision today. Orders placed before next Friday will save you upwards of £300, so take a look now at www.prospectsoft.com/email-marketing.

The economic climate is unlikely to improve. Make sure you are spending your marketing budget on media you can measure.

www.prospectsoft.com/email-marketing.