Budgeting is an important aspect that can be employed by small and big businesses to ascertain whether or not a business turns over a satisfactory profit.
This also applies to advertising – a force that brings a business’ product or service into the public eye and attracts customers. Merging sound budgeting practices together with innovative and cost-effective marketing strategies is therefore an important aspect of every business management.
It’s essential to take into account the various considerations that come into play in this process, given the extent to which smart management of an advertising budget can set your business apart from the competition.
Defining your target market
Advertising is basically a way of luring customers to your business, so it stands to reason that the first step in this process is to define your target market. This can be done through developing a clear profile (or several) of the ‘ideal customer’. Various aspects of this potential customer’s lifestyle start to materialize upon creating such a profile; as such, this can assist you to identify various marketing angles that might be fascinating to this type of customer.
Worth noting are problems that can be resolved by your business, or rather things wanted by a customer that can be supplied by your business. By making an evaluation of your active customers through this process, you can also start to slot in a proposal of their buying routine and an essential way to reach out to them.
Blending the above can assist you to acquire the right audience that deserves your advertising thus taking into consideration that your budget is well directed towards the most likely customers.
Reaching the customer
One of the most basic and yet trickiest aspects of advertising is finding out how to get through to your customers in the most effective way. The process of profiling your target market can reveal some useful insight in this area, but this needs to be further refined.
Several important questions need to be answered in this process:
First and foremost, how do your ideal customers get their information?
In the modern world, there could be many answers to this question, including (but not limited to) the Internet, television, radio, print media, and word of mouth. Each of these represents an area that your advertising could target. However, since targeting all of them would likely present too much of a strain on your budget, it’s important to determine which is likely to be the most effective.
Another question to be answered is: where does your ideal customer spend their time?
In answering this question, it’s important to recognise that most people spend different portions of their day in different places. These might include home, office, and a variety of leisure venues (such as restaurants, bars, clubs, and many others), as well as the places inbetween, such as in cars or on public transport.
Each of these places can be a place to target your advertising, depending on how often your ideal customer spends their time there and how easy it is to access these locations with your marketing strategies. An effective understanding of where your customers are likely to encounter your marketing, or, better yet, your product itself, can help to maximise the effectiveness of your advertising budget.
Establish the relationship
The purpose of advertising should be to draw the attention and interest of would-be customers, and create a relationship with them.
Your ads should support such customers to directly get in contact with your business, ether to obtain a free sample of your product or simply to find out more about your offerings. Once you have obtained their contact details, the process of relationship building can begin in earnest, and will hopefully culminate in a purchase.
Keep track of your results
This can be achieved by taking one step further thus obtaining data not only on sales, but on customer contact as well. This can take the form of phone calls, clicks on your website, and visits to your retail locations, all of which can be calculated using simple electronic data capturing systems or by using computer programs such as Excel. This kind of data is exceptionally valuable when used to notify your marketing strategies.
Making use of the above strategies can be the most effective way of making sure that your advertising budget is being spent as wisely as possible, rather than simply adopting a ‘spray and pray’ method that tries to target as many areas as possible in the hope that it will result in increased returns. It is far better to make use of intelligent strategies that are cost-effective and worthwhile for your business.