It can be difficult to define a marketing budget, but it helps to look at how peers are allocating resources. We decided to start with ourselves.
How to Build a Solid Marketing Infrastructure
It's essential to have multiple methods of driving new customers to your business. One of the most common metaphors that I use to describe effective marketing is a bicycle wheel. There is the hub at the middle with many spokes radiating out in all directions. The hub is your company and the spokes are all of the different marketing activities that lead people to your company to purchase your services and products.
Now imagine what would happen if there were only one or two spokes in a wheel and you attached it to your bicycle to try and ride on it. The whole thing would collapse in just a couple of pedal strokes. Just like a bicycle wheel, your business must have multiple marketing "spokes" coming back in to support your hub to be strong and sustainable.
Unfortunately many businesses only have a couple of spokes that they rely on to drive new business to them. Many times, these are the same exact marketing activities that competitors are using (the "Keeping Up with the Jones'" syndrome). For instance, a business may sporadically run some advertising and send out a postcard once a year. Or engage in word-of-mouth referrals because "That's what we've always done" while ignoring new effective marketing tools such as an electronic newsletter or website.
This is not a marketing infrastructure.
Instead, this is a recipe for failure. You will never get enough ongoing business by only relying on one or two marketing activities to bring you business. It leaves your company vulnerable. When these sources of marketing do not work for one reason or another, there is nothing else to drive business in your door. There are no more customers coming into the business and cash flow plummets.
To build a thriving, vibrant, and sustainable business, it's essential that you build a strong marketing infrastructure. This means that your company has multiple mechanisms in place to effectively market your business. And these marketing tactics must be implemented on a recurring basis with tracking in place to measure their success ad give you the best return on investment.
The key to success is to continually add to your marketing mix. Take a look at your current marketing wheel. How many spokes do you have to lead people to your company? Are they being consistently implemented? Are you tracking and improving them over time?
With each new marketing endeavor you implement, develop systems to keep the efforts moving forward. Systems will save you time and energy. Once one system is running itself efficiently, move on to launching the next. You want your marketing activities to grow from one or two to many different marketing approaches that work to reinforce each other. Before long, you will have multiple marketing systems working for you to bring in a constant stream of new prospects and clients in both fruitful and lean times.
Need help with your marketing "spokes"? Kinesis excels at design and marketing. Give us a call at 503-922-2289 for a free initial consultation. And of course, you can always visit our Kinesis website to see our portfolio.