Plan for Marketing ROI in 2011

Return on Marketing InvestmentThe planning season for 2011 has begun. How will you improve your marketing effectiveness?

Your marketing plan should include direct increase to profits, but it might also drive results such as an increase in market share, brand value or share prices.  Your plan might focus on customer and/or employee retention.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself as you get your planning on track:

ONE:  What do you want to achieve in 2011?

Brainstorm a list.  You can cull it back to a realistic and manageable set of goals later.  Answers might include things such as

  • More qualified leads
  • More customers through the front door
  • More return customers
  • More dollars per customer
  • More time off for the business owner
  • Ability to provide health insurance for employees
  • Increase in brand awareness
  • National attention
  • Award achievement
  • World Peace

TWO  How will you know if you met your goals?

  • You can’t manage without measuring. What will it take for you to measure each of these areas?
  • Don’t measure the easy things, measure the right things.  Ask yourself what you’re going to do with the answer when you get it, and what that’s worth to you..

THREE  Do you have a line item in the budget for gathering information and analyzing it?

  • You can’t manage without measuring!
  • 3% to 5% of the marketing budget is realistic to spend here;
  • You can’t manage without measuring!

FOUR  Is your budget goal-based?

  • Change your outlook from budgeting by media (TV, Radio, Internet) to budgeting based on your objectives.

FIVE  Do you have a line item in the budget for testing new channels?

  • If you’ve never done direct mail or social media, or radio, or screaming from the top of the North Head Lighthouse, budget for some tests and see how they pay off.  You might be surprised.
  • 1% of the marketing budget is realistic.

Sharpen your pencil and get that brainstorming going!  If you’re spending more than 15 minutes on this whole process, you’re thinking too hard.  There’s plenty of time for that later.  Just start!  Now!  Yes, I mean YOU.