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Archive for March, 2014

How to get results and value from your marketing spend (and everything else)

Last year we conducted a survey of professional services firms, to find out about their experiences of effective, and ineffective, marketing.  Marketing has long been an area where businesses struggle to understand the real impact of their activities, and spend.  We wanted to know what makes a difference to that.  As a result we have developed a whitepaper that we offer at our website at no charge to help professional firms get the best value from their marketing spend.

The survey explored a range of areas including planning, targeting, use of expertise, types of activity and opinions of effectiveness.  The results were interesting – predictable in some areas and not in others.  It was no surprise to find that overall, respondents considered paid media (newspapers, radio, television) advertising to be least effective.  Perhaps more surprising was that the number was twice that of the next ‘least effective’ category – being tradeshows. 

On the other hand, the overwhelmingly most effective method of advertising was considered to be ‘word-of-mouth’.  

The survey explored marketing as a whole though, and not just the advertising aspect.  We explored whether respondents had a strategic plan that directed their marketing effort, and whether or not they used marketing expertise.  In most cases those with a plan also used marketing expertise, although the data was not able to tell us whether they had a plan because of a marketing presence in the firm, or whether the developing of the plan had resulted in recognition and acquisition of marketing skills.

Nonetheless, there were three key differences in those firms that had a strategic plan in place.  They were:

  1. Twice as many respondents who had a strategic plan reported that inviting prospective clients to events, lunch etc was cost-effective, as compared to the respondents overall.
  2. Three times as many respondents from firms with a strategic plan reported that  providing informative copy, press releases or articles for mainstream media was cost-effective compared to the respondents overall.
  3. Those with a strategic plan had a larger quantity of effective methods than those without.

Most activities are more likely to be effective where they are well-targeted, whether that’s marketing, investment, human resources or production.  Logically, it must be easier to achieve with a clear plan.

As a result of this survey we have produced a white paper titled ‘Find More Clients With Less Effort, and Get Better Value from Your Marketing Budget’.  This whitepaper is available at no cost from our website – http://www.strategies-direct.com.  It sets out how to target your marketing activity with a clear strategy, so that your firm can be sure you are gaining new clients from your marketing spend.  The whitepaper is available now for a limited time.

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Categories: Business and Strategy
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