In the last several posts, I’ve written about marketing, and how marketing functions are being affected by changing priorities, new objectives and the need to reach larger and more audiences. For some marketers, the question is how to deploy customer-focused marketing strategies without compromising the marketing budget?
Customer-focused marketing tops the list
According to the Omobono study, customer-focused marketing is the most important function. The customer (or buyers) is – at least in the minds of marketers – the target. In practice, however, the marketing budget takes a hit because marketers are trying to address multiple audiences, promote multiple messages and achieve objectives that are outside of the scope of traditional marketing. The result is that fewer dollars are available to spend on reaching the customer or buyer.
If marketing activities aren’t customer focused, what are they focused on? According to the study, marketers also spend a significant amount of money on senior internal stakeholders, employees and channel partners. In other words, the marketing budget is being used to deliver messages to other members of the team!
For larger businesses, this is a significant concern. Making sure that everyone in a large organization is on the same page can be critical to maintaining forward momentum. Smaller organizations seem more resistant to diverting the marketing budget. That’s good, if your strategy involves customer-focused marketing.
So how can you make sure your customer-focused marketing strategy is reflected in how you spend your marketing dollars? Communication among internal team members is important, and clearly, when you can communicate well with your staff and partners about what you’re trying to achieve, you naturally limit the need to divert marketing budget away from your customer-focused marketing activities.
Communication is admittedly easier in a small organization, but good communication habits can also pay dividends as the organization grows. If new employees hear a particular message from all of those around them, the corporate culture naturally reinforces the message.
To test the customer focused marketing value of each planned marketing activity, identify its direct impact on the customer. If the customer isn’t directly impacted – but instead is affected only because someone or something else is affected – that’s a sign that the customer-focused marketing concept may not be completely in play. Look carefully at those activities because, while they can be helpful and supportive to internal staff, they may not translate very well into a visible return on investment. If you have too many “indirect” marketing activities, consider creating a different budget for internal communications or internal marketing support.
If you would like more information about customer-focused marketing and how you can incorporate it into your overall marketing plan, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: Brybs, via FreeImages.com