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7 Ways to Optimize Your Marketing Budget_s

Tips & Guides — 08 Aug 2022

How to Optimize Your Marketing Budget

7 Ways to Optimize Your Marketing Budget

Finding ways to optimize marketing budgets is not a brand new topic. 

But – *plot twist* – marketing budgets are at their lowest levels in recent history. This means businesses must come up with creative methods to squeeze as much out of marketing budgets as possible. Take a look at this infographic compiled from research by Gartner:

marketing budget
Source (gartner.com)

The sheer drop in marketing spend is going to impact how businesses budget for their marketing, and places where the maximum return on investment can be achieved. 

With this in mind, let’s look at seven ways to make the most out of your marketing budget, as the pressure is on like never before. Driving results from limited marketing spend is challenging, so these optimization tips compiled by the Affise team will set you on the right path to marketing success. 

What are Marketing Expenses?

In a nutshell, marketing expenses are the sum of all costs incurred in promoting your business. Before the wonderful world of social media marketing and PPC ads, traditional marketing costs would include things like printed flyers, business cards, and so on. 

Marketing expenses at this moment in time involve dollars spent on activities such as:

  • Remarketing campaigns
  • Marketing agency fees 
  • Any digital marketing
  • SEO
  • Promotional merchandise
  • Email campaigns
  • Paid advertising
  • Content marketing – including freelance article writers 
  • Design services 
  • CRM systems
  • Website maintenance
  • Audio equipment used for podcasts
  • Customer surveys
  • Influencer marketing
  • Affiliate and partnership marketing 
  • Analytics and automation tools 
  • Telemarketing
  • Sponsorships
  • Trade show costs
  • Webinar costs

Basically, any marketing tool or interface that supports marketing activities should be included in marketing expenses. 

Elements of a digital marketing budget

Your business’s digital marketing budget is the financial plan for a definitive period of time, and details the marketing expenses you intend to shell out for in that period. Typical phases are a month, quarter, or year.  

Your business’s digital marketing budget depends on some major factors and some sub-factors. The major factors include business size, goals, budget, and audience. Other factors comprise any relevant marketing expenses, marketing activities, and campaigns. The factors of a digital marketing budget will vary wildly from business to business, but this provides a rough overview.   

The main categories for campaigns in a digital marketing budget are:

  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • B2B PR
  • B2B influencer marketing

We’ll explore each of these elements and how they affect your budget allocation in more detail next. Not all of these factors are necessarily relevant for your particular business, so it’s your role as a business owner to pick and choose the optimal information. 

Each section will include ideas on how to get the most out of that marketing activity, and how they fit into your overall marketing budget. 

email marketing strategy

Email marketing

Email campaigns serve to deliver valuable information to your audience. Typical email marketing activities include quarterly business newsletters, new product launch emails, and messages about anything else that’s happening in your business that you want to share.  

Email marketing is one of the most budget-friendly digital marketing strategies. All that’s required is your audience email list and an automation platform with technology to send emails and track results. 

Monitoring your KPIs is essential to analyze the best ROI from your email marketing efforts. Check factors such as the time of day to send emails and engaging email subject lines, together with CTR metrics to generate the best results.  

Add email marketing to your marketing plan if: You have an existing, comprehensive list of engaged followers to market to. If you don’t, consider adding a lead capture form to your website and add contact information to your social posts to boost your email list.  

Content marketing

Content marketing is everything from digital content on your website and landing pages to blogs, whitepapers, social media, and video content like online tutorials. 

In the realms of business partnership marketing, successful partnership marketing and engaging content that delivers value go hand in hand.   

How to optimize your content marketing: Repurposing digital content is easy when you get the hang of it. Start with informative blog posts and siphon off some content to use for social media posts, stories, and webinars. 

The same method can be applied to podcasts and videos. Recycle some blog posts to use as LinkedIn articles—just reword them enough so as not to display as duplicate content to keep Google happy.  

Social media marketing

The first step with your business’s social media marketing efforts is to conduct market research and investigate the platforms that your target customers use frequently. Doing this assures your efforts are placed in the right location and your marketing spend is maximized. 

Your sales team and marketing staff can track social media activities to monitor engagement using business intelligence tools such as Affise BI. This ensures the content you push out is valuable to your target audience and that they engage with your brand.   

How to maximize your presence on social media: Choose your channels and platforms wisely. There’s no point posting on every single platform with the same content. Establish the best channels to communicate with your target audience and attract new customers. 

You’ll probably only need two to three social media channels to see the best return on investment for your marketing dollars.  

social media marketing

B2B PR

B2B (business-to-business) PR refers to activities that market your business to other companies. Building a strong brand identity establishes your business’s credibility in the industry and forges strong connections with like-minded companies. B2B PR can come in the form of:

  • Thought leadership
  • Communication strategies
  • Events
  • Product and service launches
  • Speeches

B2B PR content strategies involve a large portion of educational pieces to reinforce trust and knowledge, which are key to forming and nurturing business relationships. 

Get the most from your B2B PR efforts: Explore LinkedIn to reach out and promote your business. Consider creating and posting valuable and relevant articles on LinkedIn’s blog platform to target other businesses and prove your worth. 

B2B influencer marketing

Success with B2B influencer marketing strategies comes when business’ strategies are aligned with their goals and they understand their customers completely. Influencer marketing is the top strategy that businesses are applying their marketing budgets to right now:

influencer marketing
Source (blog.hubspot.com)

Tips for B2B influencer marketing: If you plan to include this type of marketing in your digital marketing plan and budget, get set for the long game. A B2B influencer marketing program takes time, as you need to research and establish influencers that don’t have any external conflicts with your business’s brand and message.  

7 Strategies to optimize your marketing budget

Now we’ve covered different elements of your marketing plan, how can you optimize your marketing budget effectively? Especially if, like many other businesses, your marketing budget is decreasing year on year. Seven strategies coming right up: 

1. Identify your organization’s goals and objectives before starting

Regardless of the business industry, a CFO’s responsibility is to ensure that the marketing budget allocated positively impacts the organization’s goals and objectives. 

For instance, say an ecommerce business is launching a brand new range of products to reach an untapped target customer base. They would need marketing strategies and a budget for market research, customer personas, and plenty of social media and paid ads.   

2. Organize your team

Before determining marketing spend, it’s crucial to assemble your sales and marketing teams so that everyone is on the same page. Conversions are much more likely when your CMOs, sales, and marketing departments work together to generate high-quality leads. 

A transparent approach to your digital marketing activities is not only best for collaboration, but to also generate feedback and opinions about marketing tactics from different teams within your business.

3. Employ outcome-based channels

Maximizing your marketing budget means exploring avenues such as performance marketing. The definition of performance marketing is to reward partnered marketers following the success of a marketing strategy. This is typically measured by a sales metric like a conversion or click. 

Partnership marketing is a very successful method when like-minded business partnerships are formed. Partnership marketing channels include:

  • Social media 
  • Sponsored content
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Native advertising 
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)

Employing performance marketing activities can greatly increase your brand’s reach in the places you want to engage your target audience. Businesses partaking in numerous partnerships use tools such as Affise Reach to manage partnerships effectively. 

outcome-based channels

5. Upgrade your marketing tech stack

As one of the largest marketing expenses, your tech stack is an area you can look to optimize. Latest research from Gartner suggests that on average, businesses allocate 26.6% of their marketing budget to marketing tech (bonus points if you use the cool name MarTech).  

There’s an endless amount of marketing technology available to help your business reach its marketing goals, so if you’re playing around with a system you’ve had for years, it might be worth seeing what else is out there to save crucial dollars. 

MarTech encompasses software for:

  • Email marketing
  • CMS (Content Management System)
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Customer experience  
  • Marketing attribution 
  • Marketing analytics 
  1. Maximize the use of the data you have

Data sitting there gathering dust is not optimizing your marketing budget. Data that is dusted off, and put to good use, however, is. To utilize your existing customer data for maximum impact:

  • Target customer demographics 
  • Create customer personas
  • Build accurate website navigation for best UX (user experience)
  • Minimize customer touchpoint friction and maximize sales opportunities 
  • Create tailored online marketing ad campaigns
  • Automate personalized email offerings
  • Retargeting campaigns 
  • Understand your target audience’s problems and solve them with your content 

If your business is in need of a data transfer platform to run alongside your partnership marketing efforts, check out the analytics tools from Affise CPAPI. Displaying automation tools at their finest, this platform connects your systems with offers and data sources. 

6. Increase lead generation

Taking time to listen to your target audience and understanding their pain points should be the focus of all your marketing efforts. Doing so ensures that the budget you spend on marketing is utilized in the best place. Answer key questions to establish your business as the thought leader in your industry. 

Create buyer personas to predict buying behavior patterns and encourage customers through your website navigation to increase conversion rates. Use Google Analytics to decipher visitor trends and provide reassurance at every stage of their customer journey with thought-provoking and informative content.  

lead generation

7. Build relationships

Similarly to lead generation, forging meaningful relationships with your audience maximizes your marketing budget by priming customers for conversion. The more loyal to your business that your customers are, the more likely they’ll purchase, and become brand advocates and repeat customers. 

For Millennials and Gen Z audiences, AI-enhanced personalized marketing can be the key to their hearts. To do this, implement social listening tools to join digital conversations in real-time and take steps to produce content that adds value and builds rapport. 

How to identify quick wins

Some of the approaches we’ve explored take time to implement and to see a return on investment and an uptick on key performance indicators. However, there are things you can do to quickly assess how your marketing strategies are taking shape. 

One way of achieving this is through the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80:20 rule). The premise is that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your marketing efforts. If you can identify where the majority of your best results are coming from, you’re in a much better position to plan future marketing strategies and optimize your marketing budget even further.  

Conclusion

With marketing budgets stretched tighter than ever, creating effective marketing campaigns has never been more important. Consider the strategies and tips in this article to explore new avenues for your digital marketing that may work out to be more cost-effective than you think. 

It’s time to think creatively to maximize your marketing budget and reach the majority of your target audience. That means focusing your business’s marketing efforts on the right channels at the right time for the best results. 

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Affise Academy

Affise is a partner marketing platform for brands, advertisers and agencies to scale via all possible performance marketing channels. Synergy of technology and our long standing experience lets you expand your partnerships, automate every step of the campaign lifecycle and make data-driven decisions.

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