Marketing’s expensive. Speak to a consultant about what you should spend during your business’ startup to growth phases and you’re likely to be told 10% or more of revenues. That’s a big number. Is it necessary? And, if so, can you be sure the investment will pay off?
An insight into our client base
We largely see business owners break away into two groups. The first is comprised mainly of first-time business owners who want to handle marketing themselves. Fair play to them. Starting a business is costly. And you can learn a lot from YouTube.
The problem is that starting a business is also incredibly time consuming. Marketing disappears into the long grass. It becomes something that will happen just as soon as… In the end, it never happens.
The other group are those who want to invest in marketing. They have a good appreciation of the cost and they’re willing to pay the price.
So who wins? Usually the marketing agencies.
Why marketing agencies are (sometimes) a waste of money
Both of our groups are full of talented, hardworking business owners trying their best to get their businesses to flourish. The problem is the marketers.
The majority of marketers know their specialisms inside out. They’ve got cracking case studies and delicious-looking stats to back up their capabilities. They sell to you like theirs is the only service you need.
But after six months of hard spending, they tell you your website’s just not converting traffic correctly. You’re not publishing enough content. You’re not willing to take their recommendations far enough.
The problem is that these marketers offer a standard service, not a solution for growth. It works really well for some companies. Just not for others.
The thing we wish everyone investing in marketing knew
You need a mix of marketing that’s going to work for your company. This mix should be dynamic and will depend on many factors well beyond the scope of this short article.
To achieve anything close to optimal marketing performance, first there needs to be an appreciation that virtually no marketing tactic exists in isolation. They feed, lean, depend and draw on one another. We talk to our clients in terms of marketing mechanisms and building mechanisms into a marketing machine.
So where you’ve previously spent £5k a month on PR, for example, unless your business is ideally set up to both efficiently achieve good PR coverage and efficiently benefit from it, all you’ve done is attach PR-shaped rocket boosters to something that doesn’t want to leave the ground.
We build machines
We’re technically a marketing agency. But that’s where the similarities between how we work and most other marketing agencies ends. We don’t care about selling a particular set of tactics or services that we’re specialists in. In fact, we’re not that specialist. We’re quite generalist.
When working with a new client, we first discover what’s working in their marketing and where their ready-made opportunities are hiding. We also find the leaks. We look at the realistic budget, how and where they can generate revenues to enable them to increase available spend, and how they can get their biggest bang for buck both now and in the future.
We then specify a services mix tailored specifically to the client’s business. We specify how each part is meant to work. The results we expect to see from each. How those results fit with the other parts of the machine.
We show in detail how we’ll reach, engage with, capture, and convert audiences into customers. Every part of the machine has KPIs attached, which we use for rapid diagnosis and optimisation. Then we put testing at the heart of everything we do.
Is it expensive to get started? Not really. We usually look for one marketing action that produces demonstrable growth. From there we build in additional actions, one at a time, to augment and improve outcomes.
Do you need to spend 10% or more of your revenues on marketing? We certainly wouldn’t recommend it until someone’s proven to you that your marketing machine is actually working.
So what next?
Well, we offer a free 40-minute strategy on Zoom, for anyone interested in testing our approaches. And if we don’t manage to blow your socks off with our insights? There’s still always the option of going DIY on your marketing.
Kokopelli is a collection of marketers who believe that business owners should be rewarded for their blood, sweat and tears with marketing that actually delivers business growth.
We work collaboratively with clients to achieve their objectives – acting as an extension to their existing in-house resources. We place brand and business-level objectives at the heart of everything we do, to achieve results that speak for themselves.