What’s the value of marketing?

What’s the value of marketing?

Some people think marketing effectiveness equals number of prospects reached divided by money spent. That’s too simplistic, especially when you’re taking a subtle message to sophisticated people. Highland Marketing founder, Mark Venables, considers a better way to judge marketing value.

A tale of two webinars.

Take two webinars. One, organised by a well-connected specialist agency gets 80 attendees. The other, offered by a trade publisher gets 150 attendees and it costs less. Does that sound like an easy decision in favour of the trade publisher? Well think again.

The trade publisher provides an unqualified audience, and you’ll be on your own as regards creating messaging and content. Yes, you might speak to 150 people, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be interested in you, or that you’ll have relevant and compelling things to say. You might also be surprised at how little support there is on the day.

With a specialist agency you can expect pre-qualified attendees, relevant and well-prepared content, rehearsal opportunities, and a co-presenting panel of industry experts supporting your messages. You’ll also get someone making sure everything goes well on the day – and that’s important, because every interaction with your audience impacts your brand.

Turns out it is an easy decision. If you’re interested in reaching potential buyers, go with the specialist agency.

Audience quality counts.

I have an industry colleague, who led marketing for a large international company, and has direct experience of trade publisher webinars. His were led by an expert speaker, and featured strong material developed by the in-house marketing team, and they reached a big audience. Sounds good, but looking at the attendee list after the event, turns out most of the audience worked for his own company or their competition.

That’s not effective marketing. Audience quality counts, and talking to your own team, or your commercial rivals, isn’t going to drive business success.

It’s the same with events and exhibitions. You can build your stand and wait for the audience to come. But, as anyone who has spent time talking to walk-up attendees at trade shows knows, even at well-targeted events, most of the audience isn’t in the market for what you do, or can’t make the decision to buy.

The real work for savvy marketers always takes place in advance, crafting the right story, and creating opportunities to reach the right people.

Focus on what matters.

With the digital tools that are now available, it’s easy to focus on quantitative metrics. Quantity is important but, when your message is subtle and your audience is sophisticated, you really need to think about quality. And you need to focus on what matters, not what’s easy to measure.

Just because your marketing system throws out data, it doesn’t mean it’s useful.

Another thought from my industry colleague, who worked in a company that did a lot of digital marketing. Every month, a report was circulated, and kudos was given for “leads” who had responded to online campaigns – even if these leads were already customers or already well along the buying cycle. Unsurprisingly, the sales team wasn’t impressed.

Ask the right questions.

So, when you are evaluating marketing options, you could do worse than consider a few simple questions:

  • Right message: is this campaign focused on relevant and convincing messages that reflect the benefits of my product or service?
  • Right people: will it reach people who care about what my product or service does?
  • Real buyers: do those people have authority and budget to buy?

Always remember, one qualified prospect with awareness, intention, and desire to buy is better than any number of people who were just killing time listening to you.

Work with an expert.

Finally, that specialist agency mentioned above? It’s my company, Highland Marketing. We have experience creating marketing campaigns that are genuinely effective. Get in touch if you want to know more.

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