By Scott Wallace on February 16, 2022

Investing in Marketing and Your Brand

Many early-stage companies frequently ask, “do I really need to spend money on my Brand, or on marketing? And if I do, how do I know that it is working?”

Few companies are lucky enough to bring a breakthrough product or technology to market where the benefits are so clear, or you are first to market, or the buzz is so great that marketing spend takes a back seat. If you are one of those lucky few, congratulations! For the rest of us, read on.

Marketing investments done right drive qualified leads and inquiries from potential clients that ultimately produce revenue. So, you can do the math. How much did I spend, how much revenue did that spend generate, then divide that number by your profit margin to yield your return on investment.

There are lots of important variables to “doing it right” so that you can improve your ROI – the bang for your buck.

First off, what is the best source of new business? Is it from existing customers where you are selling them more products or services? Or do you depend on attracting new prospects that you then convert into becoming clients?

In both cases, who is the true decision-maker and is it a situation where there are influencers that can be helpful to advancing the dialog or closing the sale? If you have a good idea of who the decision maker is, what are the pain points that you solve? And maybe even a proforma business case of the value of your product or service for your client.

Once you have a sense for the pain point(s), what are the most compelling reasons to believe that your product or service is the best solution compared with competitive offerings? Case studies or market research can be helpful here to provide proof of your claims. Client testimonials are also powerful, particularly for younger companies.

Often, the decision-making process can take some time—weeks or months. This is especially the case if it is a larger dollar value purchase for your product or service. You might consider creating some marketing tools to help this process move along by equipping the decision-maker with some more content. Things like webinars that show your product in action, or how easy it is to use or install. Or a white paper that outlines a typical scenario where your product or service performs well.

While much of this makes sense for B2B companies, it also works for consumer businesses as well. And the better equipped your sales team is with solid marketing tools, the higher the success rate is or the shorter the time for the sales cycle.

The good news is that with today’s technology, you can measure and track to see how you are doing—and then make adjustments to improve your results.

Delivering your marketing content and story via email to known customers or to a list of prospect names is a good start. Supplementing that with social media channels and search engine marketing can amplify and reinforce your messaging.

With a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can then track who is looking at what content, and then see if that interaction leads to a sales discovery conversation. Email open rates, or page views on your website are OK metrics. But tying it all together can give you more confidence that your spend, and your messaging is working.

Let’s go back to the question of your Brand, as it is critical to start there—before you spend on marketing or sales.

A winning Brand is one where it is crystal clear:

  • What you do (the problems you solve, the unmet needs you deliver against)
  • Who is the target audience or user
  • What are the benefits
  • Why you are better
  • What are the proof points or reasons why to believe your claims
  • Why does that matter

Answers to these questions are the core elements of your Brand and your value proposition, your unique selling point(s). Once you have these well-articulated, then (and only then) should you embark on pulling together a marketing plan. Validating your claims with market research or client case studies or testimonials is helpful.

As a rule of thumb, small businesses often budget 6 – 8% of revenues for marketing spend. The higher your gross margins, the more you can afford. The more that your in-market experience shows that marketing is driving revenue, you might want to consider increasing your spend—particularly if you have a market advantage with your product or service.

Want some help in thinking through all of this stuff? Getting off on the right foot is so smart, as first impressions are harder to fix down the road.

At Forge Brand Works, we know that you may have questions. And we are here to talk, with no obligation from that initial conversation.

Forge Brand Works has proven expertise with Brand strategy and messaging. Check out this case study for Falcon Consulting for an inspirational story: Falcon Consulting

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

  1. Hit “LET’S TALK” to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
    2.    We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
    3.    If we’re a fit, we finalize details and get started!

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