We often get asked many questions related specifically to marketing, and we want to share some of those frequently asked marketing questions with you to help you in your marketing efforts. Here are the top four questions we are asked.
Q: How do I set a budget for marketing and stick to it? What if something awesome comes up that I didn't budget for (but know it's worth doing)?
A: When you’re determining your budget, one of the first things to do is determine your objectives. Depending on whether your business is new or long established will also determine how you set your marketing budget. The United States Small Business Association recommends that a business spend 7 to 8 percent of its gross revenue for marketing and advertising, but that’s if you're doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin — after all expenses — is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range.
Once you’ve created your budget, sticking to it can be a challenge. It’s like sticking to your diet when you are staring at a package of cookies. But there are some easy tips to follow. Use specific figures when budgeting funds toward a campaign. By using an exact dollar figure as opposed to a generic range, you’ll more closely follow it and be less likely to go overboard. You should also follow what you’re spending closely. By tracking what you spend as you go, you’ll be less likely to overspend on something that may come up. You’ll also want to be sure you are tracking your results. By closely monitoring your returns, you can make decisions and adjustments to your marketing strategy as you go.
And if something ends up coming your way that you can’t pass up, because you know it will provide you with the ROI you’re looking for, do it. Our recommendation is when opportunities like this come across your desk, consult your trusted media partner to point you in the right direction and help you make that decision.
Q: How much time should a business spend on their marketing? How much responsibility should they put on their media partner?
A: As a business owner, we know you have a lot going on. From tracking sales and employees to stocking merchandise and customer service, your time is important, but so is marketing your business. Small business owners, as well other employees, will spend on average 20 hours a week marketing their business. Figures can certainly vary based on how established your business is. If you’re a newer business, more than likely you’re going to have more time than customers to begin with, so you’ll have plenty of time to market. But as you grow, consider working with a partner to help you market and reach your desired target audience. Since radio marketing has tremendous reach, reaching 91 percent of persons over the age of 12 each week, there’s tremendous value in working with a radio partner like Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group.
As a business owner, how much responsibility should you put on your media partner? Well, you definitely want to know that they are committed to your business and its success. When it comes to taking some items off your plate, you should trust any media partner you work with to handle them. Honestly, that’s why you’ve hired them. So, let them take care of as much or as little as you're ultimately comfortable with. Some people enjoy the marketing aspect more than others, so that’s part of the equation.
Q: How will I know when I've reached my goals? And when I should set new ones?
A: When you are setting goals you want to make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve with your radio advertising. Your goals should be attainable, realistic, measurable, and contain some type of time element. One thing to remember is that your marketing goals should mirror those of your business overall. They need to work in tandem to accomplish one mission. Since you set very specific goals when you created your marketing strategy and you’ve been tracking your progress along the way, it’s relatively easy to know when you’ve reached certain benchmarks, whether that’s gaining more social media followers, increased traffic in your physical store or on your website, or direct sales.
With that said, there comes a time when it’s important, and essential for that matter, to change your goals, especially when accounting for changes in the market. Remember, no plan is perfect. There’s always an opportunity to fine tune your strategy. There can be obvious signs, like not meeting your initial goals, such as increased traffic or sales. If that’s the case, it’s time to review your goals and decide whether you need to change your strategy and tactics. Given that market conditions change rapidly, you should also evaluate and make necessary changes to your marketing strategy, radio advertising and goals on an annual basis.
Q: How often should I change my marketing campaign?
A: The easy answer here is when you are not meeting the very specific objectives you’ve set forth. Think of your marketing campaign as a formula: “I want to achieve X within X amount of time.” With that said though, determining when to change your campaign can also vary based on your objectives. No matter the method you’ve chosen, it’s just as important to create a baseline that you can use for tracking.
Now that you’ve seen some of the frequently asked marketing questions we receive from business owners, you can use them to your advantage. We hope some of these answers solve the riddle for questions you may have had. You can always contact us to learn more about radio advertising or setup a meeting with our team.