It’s an old saying, but that’s because everyone knows it to be true: You have to spend money to make money. For small businesses, spending on marketing is an important step toward growth rather than a sacrifice.
In terms of setting a marketing budget, a good way to start is by researching how much your competitors spend. If you cannot match their spending, you may want to base the budget on your revenue. We, along with the U.S. Small Business Administration, recommend budgeting 7 to 8 percent of revenue for businesses with revenues less than $5 million.
However, we ultimately think quality is more important than quantity. In other words, effective marketing stems from focusing on “how” you spend your money rather than how much you spend. Dedicate your attention to determining your target audience and developing the most appropriate marketing for that demographic.
After you figure out all of the marketing methods you want to use (social media, direct mail, e-newsletters, etc.), set specific goals for each one. For example, if you’re placing an ad on Facebook, your goal might be to get 100 “likes” in one month. Measurable goals like this are essential in the process of balancing a budget.
Try allotting a significant percentage of your media budget to new things — different ad sizes, publications, etc. This will help you realize what to avoid and what to focus on in future marketing budgets. You need to be able to afford for these experiments to fail. Therefore, your marketing budget should never be based on the amount of money remaining after all of your other business expenses.
Marketing should be considered a top priority — a source of profit rather than an expense. As business management expert Peter Drucker once said, “The business enterprise has two — and only two — basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
If you need assistance in configuring your marketing budget or exploring new channels for outreach, Coles Marketing has the experience and expertise to help.Edit this post
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It takes organization, planning, a solid leader and a supportive team to pull off a public health campaign.
Coles Marketing is in the process of working on a public health campaign for the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire a healthier America by raising awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood.
Team leader Chris Mercier has a lot on her plate as the team works to hook some meaningful partnerships.
Changing the tide on seafood
In 2014, Indianapolis was one of two pilot cities selected by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) to conduct a grassroots public health educational campaign.
“Indianapolis was one of the cities selected because of our high incidents of heart disease and also because we are a population without as much access to seafood, therefore lacking the knowledge of how to select and cook it,” Mercier said.
Only one in 10 Americans follows the USDA Dietary Guidelines of eating seafood twice a week. And the biggest barrier to eating seafood is a lack of confidence to select, buy and eat it.
Coles Marketing was chosen to lead the campaign in Indianapolis — which included a series of educational events in business, healthcare and culinary communities — to raise awareness of the benefits of seafood and how to include it more frequently into daily meals.
Ingredients for a whale of a campaign
This year, as Coles Marketing prepares for a new wave of activities in October as National Seafood Month, Mercier highlighted the essential ingredients to a successful public health campaign:
- Coalition: “Develop a local coalition of community leaders who support your mission and goals,” Mercier said. “It’s important for them to have an influential network of followers or constituents to help carry the campaign’s message.”
- Events: “The goal of these educational events is to bring awareness to large and diverse groups of people about your message — in this case, seafood nutrition and the benefits of eating seafood.” These events include health fairs and cooking demonstrations.
- Health screenings: Depending on the particular health campaign, coordinating screenings may be an important component, whether it’s Omega-3 screenings, or screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or osteoporosis.
- Communications and media outreach: “Use e-newsletters and other communications to keep your coalition in the loop, offering them information and updates to share with their network,” Mercier said. “And getting the word out through traditional and social media channels helps give that third-party recognition, endorsing and validating the campaign.”
How to reel in success
But what do you need to do to set your team up for achievement? Mercier said:
- Start early. “Get your messaging down and event dates secured in advance as much as possible.”
- Stay organized. “You are handling so many different tasks; you are bound to miss something if you don’t keep organized.”
- Have a committee. “Share duties with your team. Each person can work on a different aspect of the campaign so one member doesn’t have to do it all.”
- Gather a team of experts. “Meet both face-to-face and over the phone with coalition partners and other campaign leaders to get their feedback and support early on in the planning process.”
- Follow up. “It’s your duty to follow up with coalition members, team members and members of the media to keep your campaign on their radar.”
If you need help getting the word out about your health campaign, let us help you capture the message and audience you want. Contact us today!Edit this post
No matter what business or organization you might be in, there is likely some element of sales or business development involved.
It’s a job not for the faint of heart. You hear “no” many more times than “yes” — or you may not hear back at all. As far as a personality that works best in this environment, you’ve either got it or you don’t.
And Coles Marketing’s Lisa Deremiah has it — in spades.
Doing business with people
“I always have a list of potential clients I want to get in touch with,” Deremiah said. “I look at specific industries we do well with or want to get more involved with, and I do a lot of research online.” What’s she looking for?
An outdated website. No social media presence. Lack of media relations. A sales or business development professional will attempt to make a needs assessment even before reaching out to the client or customer.
“I try to find out who makes the marketing decisions and get them on the phone if possible,” she said. “And if that doesn’t work, I try to capture their email address and reach out to them that way.” But that’s certainly not her ideal situation.
“Technology has, of course, made some things easier and more efficient, but not everything. It’s definitely harder to get a face-to-face meeting now than it was five or 10 years ago, but I think face-to-face contact is still very important. People do business with people.”
Once the connection is made, Deremiah gives her pitch, which includes the reason she is calling, a brief background of Coles Marketing’s services and the opportunity to follow up with a meeting.
Positive pieces of business development
“It’s about follow up and consistency,” she said. “Maybe it’s a brush off, but if I connect with someone who is willing to do a follow-up call or email, that means they might want to work with us in the future.”
She has other advice for being more effective in a sales or business development position:
- Be nice. Have a positive attitude on the phone. And make a good first impression in person — be polite, arrive on time, dress properly and have a firm handshake.
- Listen more. A business relationship is much like a personal relationship. If you don’t click, you’re not going to move forward with the business — so listen to their needs more, and talk about your own accomplishments less.
- Know your product. “I’m the first impression of Coles Marketing to potential clients, so I have to be knowledgeable about all we do and all we can offer,” Deremiah said.
- Find out the answers. Go into your initial meeting as more of a fact finder. And if a question is asked you don’t know the answer to, make it a point to find out.
- Perfect follow-up skills. Whether it’s a handwritten thank you, an email or a phone call, take the time to follow up after your meeting.
- Offer a helpful tidbit. Part of your follow up can be sending a piece of helpful information — a case study demonstrating how your company has solved a problem; a website to check whether or not their website is mobile friendly; or an article appropriate to their industry.
One step closer to a yes
And finally, keep your promises. “I do what I say I’m going to do to the best of my ability,” Deremiah said. “That creates trust and lays a positive foundation.”
What about the frustration of getting all the “no” responses? It’s all part of the job.
“You have to not let it tear you up,” she said. “That’s why having a positive attitude is so important. Plus, every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes.’”
Interested in talking with Lisa about what Coles Marketing can offer your business? Call her at 317-571-0051 ext. 104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Edit this post
Categories: 2015 August Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: business development, Coles, Coles Marketing, Coles Marketing Communications, communications, communications Indianapolis, Indiana, Indianapolis, marketing, media relations, photography, Public Relations, sales, social media, web, Web Design, website