There are many occasions when adopting the ‘be big’ attitude works and works well. Large TV advertising campaigns such as Guinness’$20million ‘Tipping Point’ or the £13.4million advert Aviva Insurance used to promote their name change from Norwich Union highlight the potential successes and failures of going ‘big’. They can lead to an award winning memorable and talked about campaign (Guinness), or they can just as easily leave consumers underwhelmed (Aviva). Like many marketing channels, ‘big’ can be used effectively but how efficient or necessary is it?
We understand that certain brands require this approach but for the most part, we prefer to be ‘smart’ rather than ‘big’. Often, being smart with your strategy can provide you with both greater efficiency and effectiveness on your investment, but this doesn’t necessarily mean lower spending. Obviously, you can decrease your spend by being smarter with the marketing channels you use and the activities that you opt for within each of them. However, with marketing budgets normally set in place, the money is already there. So why not spend the same amount but spend it better? This way everyone wins!’
Social media is a good example of being too focused on ‘big’ as many companies invest time and resources in appearing on all forms of social media however the same effect, or a better one, can be achieved by having a more relevant and targeted approach.
Another great example of this is in media buying where the debate over broad and targeted spend continues. Media buying agencies want to spend more and cover all bases, but the analysts say that the quality of spot mix is crucial and more important than quantity. We have actually seen the effectiveness of this targeted approach and put this in place with our clients. We can quickly gauge where spend is being wasted through, for example, decreased action from sales or sign-ups when compared to other times or channels. We can then take this away to either recoup savings or invest more heavily where we see increases in sales or acquisitions.
We believe that being ‘smart’ is vital in remaining or becoming truly effective in your marketing activities, ensuring your ROI is ever increasing. Many companies believe they are in touch with their customer’s needs and know how best to target them, but we know that it isn’t always the case. It is imperative that you conduct internal and external audits to understand your capabilities as well as those of your suppliers. You have to make sure that your agencies are on the same page as you; where your customers can see you and you can speak to them.
So much wasted spend is accounted for through ineffective messages used on the wrong channels, simply because these ideas have worked once before and have never been changed. To be smart is to be current, relevant and aware of the industry and its ever-changing interactions.
The fundamental issue for any company is to ensure that you are being smart. Ask yourself these questions and think about whether you truly know the answers:
- How do I know that I am communicating effectively with my potential customers?
- How do I know that I am not wasting money in ineffective marketing channels?
- How do I know that I can’t be smarter with my marketing spend and increase ROI year on year?