The hardest part of marketing comes down to the dollars and cents, is it going to bring you a return on investment? No one can guarantee results, even though we see the crazy headlines everywhere that claim, “double your website traffic” or “reach your first 6-figure year”. Although results can be predicted by past experiences, your business, your needs, and your audiences are completely unique, which leaves the question, will this strategy work for me too? As many of you are working on your marketing budgets, we recommend leaving a budget amount for trial and error, and here’s why.
If you’ve been in your industry for a while, you’ll already have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, but with the constantly changing marketing environment, should you just stick to the familiar? Now there’s something to be said for “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, so if you’re finding something is working, definitely keep it up, but leave room for other options. Leaving a buffer in your budget allows you to try and test different strategies which can create some great opportunities:
1. Learning Opportunities
Whether your strategy is a complete success or a total failure, it presents a lot of learning opportunities for you and your team. You might find that your audience is not on the platform that you chose, or you might uncover a need that your customers had that no one else was offering a solution to. Either way, you have valuable data that you can use to move forward.
2. Room to Fail
Marketing is hard to justify if you don’t see an immediate return on investment, we get it. But there are many opportunities to be had by leaving yourself room to fail. First, it gives you the opportunity to try new marketing tactics to see if it’s something that sticks or a fad that doesn’t apply to your business. Second, it gives you a low stress learning opportunity. Now you should always set a goal when implementing a marketing strategy, however if you allow yourself to fail it takes the stress off if things don’t go quite as planned and gives you plenty of learning opportunities.
3. Striking Gold
Because you’re testing something new, it could be a total flop, but it could turn into something successful that your team can then take and develop further. These things can often lead to a competitive advantage because you went out on a limb before your competitors. After all, if you just stick to the familiar, after a while you might find you’re falling behind your competitors.
Now we’re not saying to just blindly throw money at a marketing tactic, try and test these things strategically. Do your research to understand your customers and their needs. Think of this as research and development time for your marketing team/business. Be willing to fail, which can lead to success in the future.