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3 ways to improve your marketing and grow your business

With economic uncertainty continuing to dominate the headlines, you may be taking a second look at your budget. If you’ve considered reallocating your resources and trimming your marketing dollars, you’re not alone. March 2023 research from The CMO Survey shows 52% of companies are tightening their marketing spending. Yet even if you feel the need to follow suit, you don’t have to lose momentum. You just have to put a premium on efficiency.

It’s worth explaining that efficiency is often misunderstood. It doesn’t mean you scale back on the number of marketing campaigns you do or the channels you try. On the contrary, true efficiency allows you to spread your wings because being efficient boils down to squeezing as much ROI from every marketing endeavor. As a result, you end up improving your company’s profit margins and having money to reinvest back into advertising. 

For example, let's say your customer lifetime value (CLV) may currently be $1,000. What if you made tweaks to your marketing to move up the needle? You’d see corporate revenue growth as long as your tweaks didn’t force you to spend more than your budget allowed. In that case, efficiency would allow you to meet or exceed your goals within budgetary parameters. And if you wanted to put some of the added money back into more marketing later to fuel more success, you could.

There are three techniques you can apply to reach a high level of marketing efficiency at your company. Here are a few strategies to kickoff your efforts.

1. Align all facets of your content marketing

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail, particularly when it comes to content marketing. Every piece of content you create and push out should be aligned to specific goals. When that doesn’t happen, you can end up with a disjointed, inefficient marketing strategy. This often leads to lost traction, and wasted team member time and energy.

According to marketing agency Hawke Media’s reporting, around eight out of 10 marketing departments depend on content marketing. However, the agency notes that without a comprehensive marketing audit, most marketing teams’ content falls flat. In contrast, teams that engage in careful auditing have an opportunity to ensure their content is aligned toward specific KPIs and objectives.

Conducting a content audit can be done in-house or with the help of a third-party outsourced provider. At the end of the audit, you should have a clear understanding of your company’s existing content. You should also be able to see how it’s working—or not working—toward profitability. With the information you collect, you can set aside money to spend on changes. For instance, sometimes just updating blogs or switching internal links can have significant and positive impacts. But you’ll never know where to start if you lack up-to-date content audit findings

2. Fuel a data-driven culture

Collecting and using data is important, but are you actually using that data to make decisions? Before saying “yes,” you might want to do a bit of reflection. Many marketers who churn out data-heavy reports don’t use the reports for making decisions or solving problems. In fact, this is a widespread and well-documented issue across marketing departments.

A Gartner survey indicates that merely 53% of all marketing decisions are backed by analytics. How, then, are the remaining 47% of decisions made? In plenty of cases, the answer is a mix of “what’s always been done” and gut instinct. While instinct may have been necessary in the days before the Internet, it’s a gamble to rely on it alone. Yes, you can have instincts, but you should back them up with raw numbers.

It’s not enough for you to tell your team to start looking at the data. You have to help them interpret what they’re seeing so they can pivot. Sometimes, unconscious biases can lead marketers to continue doing something that no longer works. To get efficient, you must be willing to let go of the status quo and be guided by objective numbers and statistics.

3. Stay on top of emerging marketing trends

So much is happening right now in the field of marketing. From the impending loss of third-party cookies to the emergence of ChatGPT and Bard, it’s hard to keep up. Nevertheless, the more you and your teammates know, the more arrows you’ll have in your collective quiver.

Here’s the issue: Upskilling is rare in marketing. Just look at Marketing Week’s 2023 Career and Salary Survey results. A full third of marketing team employees say they’re not being given professional development opportunities. In today’s fast-paced environment, that’s a surefire way for a company to start falling behind. Without knowledgeable staff members, you can’t be as efficient with your marketing as you could be otherwise.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to ensure your marketers hold onto an edge. You can get creative and look for cost-effective chances for employees to improve their skill sets. Case in point: Many top companies offer free webinars and information sessions on “hot” topics. Ask one or more of your people to attend and explain what they learned to their coworkers. In time, you’ll end up with a highly skilled workforce of professionals who are in the know. And being aware of what’s available allows your company to remain competitive.

No business runs at 100% marketing efficiency. That means you have room for improvement, even if you’re fairly efficient. Take the necessary steps toward doing more with what you already have. You’ll be glad you did when you start to get bigger without breaking your budget.

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