Digital marketing might be way more cost-effective than traditional marketing, and the fact that it’s much less expensive should be reason enough for any business leader to prioritize a digital strategy over a traditional one. That said, this doesn’t mean that digital marketing is free or cheap, and in fact, it can run up quite a bill throughout the year if you’re not careful and if you’re not making smart financial investments. As a business leader, you need to stay on top of the latest marketing trends, invest in the right tactics, and manage your finances wisely in order to create a sustainable marketing strategy.
Otherwise, you risk wasting all your money on poorly performing ads and content marketing that doesn’t rank your articles and landing pages on the first page of Google. This could spell disaster for your business in the long run, which is why meticulous financial management should be your top priority.
Here’s how you can better manage your marketing budget without stifling the creative juices or imposing any cumbersome restrictions on your talented marketing team.
Assign skilled finance managers to the task
First things first, understand that your marketing leaders, unless they have proper financial education and training, are not fit to manage your marketing budget or your long-term financial strategy for the marketing department. They might be skilled marketers and amazing team leaders and strategists, but they probably lack the financial background necessary to cost-effective decisions and investments. That’s why it’s so important to assign a skilled finance manager to lead the financial side of your marketing department, and work closely with these marketing managers.
Collaboration is key here, because you want your finance manager to work with, not against, your marketing leaders to make the best possible investments in the right marketing tactics, without breaching the budget. This is a delicate task and it requires the two leaders to have regular meetings and strategic sessions where they will go over the data, reports, and research, to create a viable long-term plan.
Identify the most relevant marketing channels
In order for your marketing department to stay financially stable and run smoothly throughout the year, you need to prioritize your investments. Established and thriving businesses might be able to invest in all the digital marketing tactics all at once because they have bigger budgets, but small businesses need to be careful with their spending and minimize financial waste while maximizing results.
To do this, make sure to create a priority list of all your marketing channels. Your focus should be on the channels that cost less but have the potential to deliver long-term results, such as SEO and content marketing, and social media management. To see quick results though, you should organize and optimize a PPC campaign that will boost conversions instead of just wasting your money.
Write off some marketing expenses from your taxes
Another reason why it’s important to work with professionals, and especially professional accountants when you’re managing your marketing budget is because these experts can help minimize your marketing expenses through taxes. Some of your marketing efforts are tax deductible, and it’s a popular trend nowadays in competitive markets like Australia for business leaders to deduct marketing campaigns during the taxation period.
In fact, Australia is an expensive business market, and therefore it’s a great example of how business owners will frequently work with a tax accountant in Sydney to work out a sensible tax deduction strategy that will include as many marketing expenses as possible. This way, they can reduce the amount of taxable income they report each year.
No matter the market you’re currently in, though, make sure to get in touch with local accountants who can reduce your tax spending and help you optimize your marketing expenses.
Always have clear and attainable marketing goals
Of course, you can’t hope to save money on marketing or create successful campaigns if you don’t set clear and attainable goals. Every marketing strategy should be founded on the right goals, not just to deliver better results but also to minimize financial waste and keep the marketing department on the right track.
The best way to put your goals and objectives into perspective is to use the tried and tested SMART model. Your marketing leader and finance manager can work together on making your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, in order to minimize the risk of error and keep your campaigns within your budget.
Collect data and optimize as you go
No marketing campaign, be it an SEO and content marketing campaign or a paid advertising one, has a cookie-cutter solution, nor can you just “set it and forget it”. If you try to let your campaigns just do their thing, you’ll soon realize that you’re wasting resources and they are vastly underperforming. Instead, every marketing campaign requires constant and meticulous monitoring and optimization.
If you want to better manage your marketing expenses and stay afloat in the post-COVID-19 world, then make sure to invest in a comprehensive reporting tool that will collect and collate all your important marketing and financial data. This will give you a bird’s eye view of your entire marketing strategy, and it will help you make better marketing decisions over the long term.
Over to you
In the new normal, small businesses will need to be very careful with their spending if they are to stay financially stable and facilitate growth. One of the key areas where you need to optimize your financial management is marketing, so be sure to use these tips to minimize financial waste and maximize the potential of your campaigns in 2021 and beyond.