Marketing at any time should be a carefully managed process, but this is even more important when trying to sustain or grow your business during a recession or other economic downturn.
Here are 3 tips to help you get the most out of your marketing in any economy:
Recession Marketing Tip #1 – Determine Your Profit Point
Determine the profit point (the point at which sales from your marketing expenditure breaks even and pays for itself) by dividing the average profit per sale into the total marketing or advertising cost.
For example, if you spend $1000 on marketing a $100 product, you might think that 10 sales is your break-even point. Unless you have a 100% profit margin, this could be a potentially fatal error! Assuming your profit margin is 20%, your profit per sale is actually only $20, which means that you would need to generate 50 sales $100 in order to break even.
When you know your break even number ahead of time, you will know without a doubt whether a particular campaign generated a positive return on investment or not.
Recession Marketing Tip #2 – Track Everything
One mistake many business owners make is not tracking each individual marketing or advertising campaign. You cannot properly determine whether or not a particular campaign is hitting your pre-determined profit point or not without knowing where your leads are coming from.
Use custom web addresses such as www.YourCompany.com/adsource or vanity URLs (www.YourCompanyNow.com for example) to easily track advertisements that drive people to your website. Coupon codes, customized extension numbers or “virtual employee names” where you give the phone number to call and the instruction to “ask for Sally” (who doesn’t exist) or instructions to “clip this coupon” or “mention this ad” when visiting your physical location.
Make it part of your internal process to ask people where heard about you and make note of it in a spreadsheet so that you can track your results over time.
Recession Marketing Tip #3 – Do More of What Works, Less of What Doesn’t
When and if you find a marketing campaign that is consistently failing to produce enough sales to cover your investment and reach the profit point, you should immediately make a decision to either change the advertisement in some way in order to get a better result or simply stop the activity immediately.
Unless you know that your initial $100 sale will be worth many thousands of dollars over the long term (because you know your average lifetime customer value) then continuing with a money-losing campaign without at least trying to improve it is a sure way to reduced profits or even losses on your bottom line results. Even then, you should always seek to improve the results you’re getting from every marketing campaign.
On the other hand, when you find a campaign that is consistently hitting or, even better, exceeding your pre-determined profit point, then you should find ways to get more exposure in the same or similar sources.
For example, if you are advertising in a particular magazine bi-weekly, you may want to test a weekly advertisement instead. If the campaign is paying for itself and producing a profit over and above your initial investment in one magazine, you may want to try reaching a similar audience in a different, but related publication.
When you follow all three of these tips and apply them consistently and in order you will see definite improvements in your overall marketing results.
Paul Keetch is a seasoned entrepreneur and marketing coach who has helped hundreds of small business owners grow into bigger business owners. He is co-author of the acclaimed ebook Make My Marketing Work: How to Win Customers and Make More Money. Get a copy of his book online at http://www.MakeMyMarketingWork.com.