Finding the Balance Between Your Message and Your Budget
Which marketing channels align with your company? And how many of those channels should you use to maximize your company’s message? It’s a tricky equation to balance out.
We all know that there are thousands of ways a company can use the marketing budget. How dollars are deployed all depends on the type of campaign strategy desired. For example, a lead generation campaign can look a lot different than a campaign that is strictly branding and awareness.
No matter what type of marketing campaign your company is running, one of the most important guidelines to remember is to allocate an appropriate amount of budget to each marketing channel.
Every channel has both minimum and a maximum investment threshold. Investing less than the minimum could mean wasting money on activity that has no chance of making an impact. Spending more than the maximum could put you beyond a point of “diminishing returns” where that channel is already saturated and more spending won’t equate to more impact. Finding the sweet spot between these numbers for each channel and concentrating your investment in channels with the largest opportunity for return, can help keep you from spreading budget too thin.
As we mention in our Ultimate Guide to Buying Media, there are two main avenues to use as the backbone of any contractor’s marketing strategy: Mass media (such as TV and radio) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
An effective marketing strategy for either building awareness or generating leads often begins with a healthy budget dedicated to mass media. By having a healthy budget, a company can maximize the amount of reach and frequency your message will enjoy. Reach refers to the number of members of your target audience sees your message. Frequency refers to the number of times they see it. Both factors can play a part in driving awareness and lead generation.
If the marketing budget is limited, then getting the maximum of both reach and frequency from every dollar is essential. For example, a campaign with tremendous reach that sacrifices frequency might not be seen often enough by each viewer for them to remember your message when they need your services.
An article in Business Insider describes the well-known “Rule of Seven.” Using this formula, a company can estimate what it will take to penetrate a homeowner’s consciousness and be remembered. In other words, exposing your company message to a consumer more times can be the difference between them thinking of you or a competitor when they are ready to buy.
Since traditional mass media continues to provide the largest audience, making sure that your budget is focused on ensuring good reach and frequency on traditional media first makes sense. Then, as you can add more dollars to the budget, you can start layering in different marketing channels to build your impact and extend reach.
Another marketing channel that builds up the backbone of many marketing strategies is Search Engine Marketing (SEM), often referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Google Ads is the leading platform in the space and is almost mandatory to include in any digitally relevant marketing budget.
With Google Ads, your budget is buying exposure based on the search terms you specify. The broader or more general the term(s) chosen, the more your ads will be served in search results … and the faster your budget will be used up.
Managing the mix of broad terms and exact/narrow search terms in your SEM campaign build will help generate the quantity and quality of traffic to your website.
Additionally, Google Ads allows for in-depth targeting which gives a marketer the freedom to focus the advertising spends on certain demographics. Just a few examples of segments that targeting are age, gender, location, income level, intent to purchase and marital status.
A Valuable Synergy
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of channels to incorporate into a marketing strategy. But no campaign that excludes a smart combination of mass media and SEM will achieve as much as it could. Used together, these tools create a synergy that delivers more impact than using either one alone.
No matter what your budget, remember to invest enough in each channel to have an impact. Start small with just a few channels if necessary, then after those channels are working for you, start to extend into others. Spread yourself too thin from the start, and your message will not have the proper reach and frequency to work for you- and could potentially cost more than it produces.
RCG Contractor Marketing is a company dedicated to helping home service professionals turn their marketing into a profitable investment. See our related articles for more in-depth information on the topics covered in “The Ultimate Guide to Creating Advertising for Home Repair Pros.” Or, contact us for information on how we can create custom solutions to help you build your sales and your business.