Your paid media budget is too high. Not your overall marketing budget, it’s probably underfunded. But, your paid media budget, as a percentage of your marketing budget needs to be reduced. There are better things that you could be doing with those dollars that will improve your marketing ROI.
What exactly could you do with those media dollars that would be more effective? That answer is different for every organization. But, I’m confident that all of you could benefit from a revised marketing mix that includes more marketing man-hours. More execution of marketing programs. More optimization of digital activities. More activation of sponsorships. More content development. More SEO. More social media execution. More activity that exploits the shopping and purchasing habits of today’s consumer (B2B or B2C). More time, which means money to pay for that time whether it’s hiring additional staff or partnering with a marketing specialist or whatever works best for you.
There was a time when nearly all marketing budgets were dedicated to advertising campaigns. You’d develop a media plan that targeted your most likely customer, create some ads, and run the campaign. At some point in time you’d have an idea of what was working, and you’d make some tweaks to the next quarter or next year or whatever came next after your very delayed analysis. This practice started in the 1920s when everyone huddled around the radio for their entertainment, and continued with television and the choice of only up to three stations to watch. There might have been two daily newspapers, so maybe you placed ads in both. This is obviously ancient history, yet most marketers are still influenced by this approach. They just buy ads on more stations, publications, and websites, putting one-way messages out to the market.
Old-fashioned advertising totally misses the new-fashioned consumer, who chooses brands over products and relies on word of mouth more than ever before. They also do their own research before visiting you or your website. And they need good reasons to connect their dollars with your brand.
Folks in the media business know that we buy more of it than most competing firms. But, we know how to use it as part of a larger marketing program. So the percentage of a VI paid media plan, is less than what you’d see elsewhere. The rest of the budget is used to connect with prospects and convert them to customers, supported by paid media somewhere along the way. It’s different for each client, but it is fundamental to modern marketing, which is what we are practicing.