How to Waste Marketing Dollars

This is a white water world. The economy is turbulent. The atmosphere is literally pungent with revolution, look at North Africa and the Middle East and all over the world, there is a kind of sense of uncertainty.  In the area of media and placement, it is equally as turbulent. As media marketers there’s a sense that reach our audiences is becoming almost unanswerable and  ” how do we avoid wasting money” becomes the largest issues of them all. That’s a question that’s asked to me allot. How do we stop spending where we don’t need to spend?

I’ve come up with a few simple ideas to help you avoid wasting your marketing dollars. Now, you do know what as a marketer its almost impossible to avoid wasting money because you have to try things many of which are unproven and untried. In many ways you are a rainmaker, you are out there doing things people don’t understand and worse, they can’t imagine why you would do what you are doing in the first place. Especially in the area of using media, television, radio, the Internet, social media, blogging, it has become a landscape of opportunity. In all this opportunity the question still is where do you put your money. How do you know where your dollar goes the furthest.

Here are four ways to waste money:

  • Hire a consultant and then DON’T listen to them. I know it sounds funny. I’ve done it myself; hire a consultant, they bring back a report and make a suggestion or a series of suggestions and you don’t implement. Why? Because you don’t have the time, the resources, the ideas are whacky or seem out of left field. Here’s what I advise you to do.
    1. When you hire a consultant, bring them through the front door. Let all the team players buy in to hiring of this group or organization to do the work for you. If everyone knows them, had a voice in the hiring and buys in everyone becomes part of that process.
    2. Make the consultants accountable. Have a set of deliverables. What are they going to deliver, and by when will they deliver it.
    3. Determine before you engage the consultant how you will use the information that they give you. Is there a budget parameter? If so share that with the consulting group. It’s a waste of time and money if the consultant suggest the launch a targeted social media campaign, with the details and the timetables but you don’t have the resource to implement. Count the cost before you engage in the consultant.

Be SLOW to implement marketing campaigns. There’s a story about Dell, and the tablet PC. Dell actually where the first to come up with a marketable product that you could actually write on on, and flip it around, do you remember that product? And then out came the Apple’s IPad and within hours, they outsold Dell’s tablet, but yet the tablet, was in the market for literally twenty-four months before the Ipad. Now what was the difference in the strategies? It was marketing. When Ipad came out, they came out all guns blazing. Using all forms of available media, television, radio, social media, in-store promotions, retail promotions, giveaways. They were using blogs, blogosphere and influencers very effectively. When Dell came out they did a soft launch, and they had a few users and they were using this beta testing technology and they were using beta marketing and mouth to mouth marketing, and it didn’t work. Why? Because they were limited in their scope. Its almost as though Dell didn’t believe in their product. I like what Colin Powell said when we were invading Iran back in 1993, he said if we are going in, we are going all in. When you go to market, implement. Market your product. Use every tool, and weapon in your arsenal. Yes I propose that you measure what you do but don’t limit your thinking, to one specific marketing vehicle. When you are going to go market; go to market.

Deliver bad marketing content. The proof of the quality of your brand is what people (users) think of your product. Therefore, the beginning of the product experience is that the marketing promises. Bad marketing content is one sure way to begin brand erosion even before a brad gets off the ground. Quality marketing content is king and high value product experience is everything.  If you don’t have a great series of articles for blogs, news or magazines, great television, solid radio, your product is not going to experience true lift.  Some marketers try to save money buy lowering their production values or compromising on a specific talent or shooting in maybe a studio versus going on location. When in fact what they are doing is cheapening the product itself. My council is to spend wise money on developing high quality content of marketing and promotional elements of your campaign. Today we know that consumers are more aware then ever and first impressions count greatly.

Don’t use analytics. Don’t measure what you do, just shove it out into the market place. Who would do that? But yet that’s what allot of marketers do. They push their marketing materials into the marketplace and they don’t time or money to measure. Everything you as a marketer must be measureable. Why? You need a sense of accomplishment and accountability. You’ve got to know what you are spending, why you are spending it and what you are getting in return. If you are not getting a good return on your investment, then stop doing it. And the only way you know how to stop doing a specific activity is if you are measuring it. In the past analytics used to be very expensive but now there are so many ways to get reports from different sources. My council is to get some analytics put on your marketing efforts: response to a website, response to a toll free number, Google analytics, Nielsen ratings or even a Survey Monkey.  Whatever it is, find a way to measure your marketing. Because if you’re not measuring what you are doing, you’re wasting money, measurement is key.

Our most precious resources (time, people and money) are extremely valuable in any economy. So be good stewards of the resources you have been given responsibility over.

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