Eliminating Waste by Focusing on Targeting
Before creating a marketing plan, marketers must understand the meaning of their plans and efforts within the context of their wider organization. Principally this means acknowledging that marketing plans are more than anything else an investment. It is often said that marketing departments are the ones that spend money, as opposed to those that make money. Therefore, marketing plans must pay dividends to maximize returns on investment.
One way to maximize return on investment, and endear yourself to your finance department, is to eliminate waste by refining the target audience of the marketing plan. This can be achieved by relying on research data throughout this defining and refining process to ensure accuracy before launching a campaign.
The Jones Blair case study provides an excellent example of how unrefined target audiences lead to inefficient and ineffective marketing plans. In this case, the company is operating with a tight contribution margin which necessitates an efficient plan of action. The Vice President of Advertising presents a case for investing a significant amount of additional funds in a media buy to raise awareness in their urban market. While the strategy behind the plan is sound—it raises awareness of a strong regional brand in a booming market with transplants that may not be familiar with it—the scattershot approach renders it inefficient for a product with sporadic purchasing patterns. There is no thought behind who specifically will be exposed to the campaign and if those consumers have any intention of purchasing the product.
While the Jones Blair case study takes place in the mid-1980s, contemporary marketers today can utilize the rise of the Digital Era and its accompanying tools to create smarter and more efficient campaigns. With platforms like Google Ads and its suite of analytical tools, marketers can create impactful, and more importantly, efficient campaigns that reach specifically targeted audiences. These are consumers that have either already demonstrated a willingness or need to purchase a product or fit into an important demographic.
Ultimately, marketers will always be judged on their ability to maximize return on investment. Regardless of the gross number of impressions or conversions generated by any given campaign, the results will always be assessed in relation to the initial investment. Using marketing research and powerful analytical tools to sharpen campaigns will help you ensure marketing plans are efficient and effective.