If you aren’t spending any money on marketing, you should be. How much? The Small Business Administration recommends you allocate 7-8% of your budget for marketing expenses. But some consumer products might require up to 20%.
So how do you know if you’re “doing it right”? Don’t depend on media salespeople to reassure you, find out for yourself.
- Train your staff to ask your customers “How Did you Hear About Us?” Then, write down the answers. Use that information to plan your future marketing budget.
- Use social media to collect consumer information. On Facebook, ask a question, take a survey, or post a fill-in-the-blank statement and pay attention to the results. On your blog, look closely at the comments section. Survey the “Insights” section of your Facebook Page for gender, age, and other data.
- Take a brief survey of your client e-mail database using Survey Monkey. Keep it short and focus your questions to meet your goals in gathering information. Offer a premium/gift/coupon for those who respond.
If you want to know more about your target customer, don’t overlook FREE resources like The U.S. Census Bureau, regional homeseller websites, and industry marketing sources for your particular business.
And as you make your marketing decisions, remember: you worked hard to earn those dollars, don’t give them away to just anyone. Keep making better decisions to squeeze the most out of your marketing budget.