It is difficult to believe that in 2018 people are still questioning the relevancy of marketing and the importance of investing in it. In a digital world where customers expect more customised solutions, faster response times, and more cost-effective products, marketing is the cornerstone to growing your brand and reputation.
Marketing is not a ‘nice-to-have’ or just a line item on the company budget. After all, if nobody knows about your company and your value proposition how can you grow your business? A global study has shown that the likes of brand value, customer equity, organisational competence, and innovation all revolve around marketing investment and how your business decides on creating shareholder value.
This means marketing must be considered a fundamental investment to the business. And just like any other investment that you make in the organisation, you need to review, assess, and plan properly for it to work. Marketing is not this mysterious concept that can only be exploited by creative teams. Instead, applying solid business principles to your marketing approach will deliver significantly better long-term benefits than the short-term ‘flash in the pan’ campaigns.
One of the key aspects when it comes to your marketing investment is to approach it with patience.
It is easy in the age of social networking and viral videos to have an unrealistic expectation of how quickly you can build your brand. The reality is often quite different and requires a more pragmatic approach.
Additionally, it is always best to diversify your marketing investment across different platforms, media, and implementation methodologies. For example, throwing everything into that Facebook advertising campaign while ignoring traditional options will limit your potential customer base especially in a country like South Africa where connectivity remains a challenge to overcome.
Open to all
It is advisable to spread your tactics across media and other channels. In that way if one of the avenues experience a downturn, you at least have a footprint in others to leverage.
As part of the fundamental approach to marketing investment, always start with a definable goal in mind. Whether it is as straightforward as garnering a specific number of views, hits, or shares, or meeting a monthly sales target, it gives your organisation something to aim for and measure against. Part of the problem of marketing is that many consider it to be undefinable and, per implication, not possible to create a target for? However, the opposite is true in that you must rely on your strategy to help guide your investment, so that you can get the best possible return from it.
One of the other benefits of driving marketing is in being able to attract a more diversified skill set from talented individuals. The investment in brand building translates to a better reputation in the market and a differentiation among your competitors.
And in a country like South Africa with its high unemployment rate, the opportunity to offer work for those with a shared passion and belief in your brand can be immeasurable.
It is important to consider your marketing investment for the remainder of the year and whether you are viewing it as core to your growth or as a side project that you are only doing to keep a few people happy.
This article originally appeared on 26 February, 2018 on entrepreneurmag.co.za