Don't Spend Marketing Money! Plan First!

Stop! Don't Spend Marketing Money! Plan First!

Wait. Plan before you start spending money on marketing.

A business owner came to me recently having spent money on marketing, yet unhappy with his results. He had spent marketing money on a website, blog, article submissions, public relations, postcard deliveries and yet he was concerned that nothing was returning a positive return. Perhaps the expectations weren't properly set.

So here is a free marketing tip on why setting out a complete marketing plan is necessary to guide business decisions and the money spent on marketing.

Idea for a New or Existing Product or Service

A few years ago, I spoke with a person who wanted to launch a company that would compete in his local area with a major existing brand. He felt he had a competitive advantage. He said he and some investors were willing to spend up to $100,000 to launch. Then, they changed their mind and instead wrote some magazine articles for PR. They wanted to test their idea first.

You can start spending money to market your business idea, or you can spend a little money to begin testing your idea.

Testing Your Idea, Product or Service

Stick to the basics. Who is your target customer or client? Make up a simple questionnaire that can be answered within a minute. Or paste pictures that represent your idea or product onto a small poster board.

Below are some sample questions:

  • "Would you be willing to pay between $ 5 - $ 7 if it saved you $ 30 a month on gas?"
  • "Would you purchase such and such a product from friends or at a store?" (distribution)

  • "What information would you need to make a purchase?" (getting to trust and credibility)

You could continue to survey in many different ways or seek information. Start up a no cost blog and hand out a postcard with the url. Watch the traffic. If no one visits then they may not feel strongly about the issue meaning you need to focus on consumer education.

Plan and Budget Development

Coming up with basic information, will help you decide how much to spend on graphics, printing, search engine optimization, face to face networking, etc.

Also, how much money does one sale return? Is the sale one time or will it result in repeat business? You spend "x" dollars on marketing and how long before sales begin to pour in and exceed your marketing costs? This gauges your return on investment.

Develop the Marketing Message and Image

Armed with basic information will help develop the marketing message and image. This is necessary money spent on marketing. It helps with objective information.

Marketing Activities

Set out the marketing activities, then measure them monthly, quarterly and then evaluate which ones are working and which are not. Stick with those that work.
Repeat the cycle. If sales pick up momentum then you can back off your marketing costs.

By Don Simkovich
Photography By Vojtech Vlk

Don Simkovich, MA helps solo entrepreneurs and small business owners reach their target audience using customized website solutions and article marketing. Request a free .pdf titled "Becoming the Authority Your Audience Wants to Read" at Don's site,


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