Slicing & dicing your marketing budget for the best results


I’ve been pondering a question that you might be familiar with: Where am I going to spend my measly marketing budget?

Every entrepreneur, business owner and marketing pro faces that question at some point. For many of us, it’s an annual affair; The thinking, planning and worrying.

Because every year there are new “marketing opportunities” vying for a little slice of that pie.

Always way more tactics to try than budget to spend!

If you’re not careful you’ll be chasing a hundred “sure fire strategies that’ll launch your company into the stratosphere.”

Problem is, many of those snake-oil solutions aren’t strategies at all. They’re just tactics, or one person’s “proven new approach” to one specific tactic…

One guru promises that SEO is the answer. “We’ll get you on page 1 of Google. Guaranteed.”

Another claims to have the golden ticket to social media riches. “Get 50,000 new followers in just 30 days!”

Yet another will push you into the rabbit hole of marketing automation. “Your own app is the answer!”

It’s easy to get sucked in because we’re hungry for results and we all hold out hope that there’s a magic recipe out there just waiting to be discovered.

There is not. Sorry.

Regardless of all the technological advances in marketing — and the plethora of new-fangled tools — there is no easy answer. No one-size-fits-all-plug-and-play marketing miracle with whipped cream on top.

That’s the bad news… Marketing requires work. That’s just the nature of doing business. And you need a good mix of marketing activities that are specific to your business. Your niche. Your unique business situation.

Here’s the good news: If you master the fundamentals the tactical decisions will be a lot easier.

Here are the 2 fundamentals you need to finish before you can make a well-informed decision on which tactics to choose:

First, make sure you understand the difference between strategy and tactics. It’s not very productive to throw money at tactics that aren’t aligned with your strategy. So learn the difference and spend the time you need to get your strategy straight.

The other fundamental is your story. Story first, then strategy, then tactics.

You’d be amazed how few companies actually have their story written down. Articulated. Illustrated. They have bits and pieces of it in Powerpoint decks and in ads, but it’s not cohesive and clear. They know what they make, but they don’t know what business they’re really in. They have a mission, but they don’t have a clear value proposition. They have logical selling points, but no compelling emotional storyline.

Facts tell. Stories sell.

So before you start slicing up that marketing pie, make sure it’s the right flavor.

That’s the crucial building block of any marketing effort. No matter what tactics you choose to employ, you still need a well-developed story and a strategy to match.

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