In the bigger definition, marketing is about promoting and selling your product or services. So, how important is marketing to your company? Well, that depends on your company and your company’s goals.
If your company has been around for at least a few years, you might know how marketing fits into your business and your business plan. When you first start a business, marketing may not be part of your initial plans. New business owners might wonder “I run a business, do I have to do marketing?” When they should be thinking “I run a business and I have to do marketing.”
Yes, you have to do marketing, but how you define it will be different pending on your business. All companies must make marketing decisions when they first open the doors. What is the name going to be? What will the logo look like? What will the brand color scheme be? What information do we want to have on our website? On that note, building a website should be a high priority. Every company should have a website. It isn’t 1999 when people didn’t believe the internet was going to be a thing.
Business owners have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to marketing, whether they think about it consciously or not. Like any other expense, marketing needs to be built into the business plan. The business owner may handle the marketing decisions, have someone on their team handle the marketing, or hire a marketing company like Louvre Media to help them with it. Hiring a marketing company can be beneficial since they have expertise in the field and don’t need to take up office space or time to train them. They have a better feel of what works, what might not work, and will take care of any marketing projects you need assistance with.
How much you decide to invest in your marketing is up to you. Different businesses will have different goals, so understanding what is right for yours is critical. Answering a couple of questions such as “how am I going to get new customers?” and “what is the lifetime value of a new customer?” are both important in deciding how much to invest in marketing. A couple of Google searches will yield you many different answers. As a reference point, the Small Business Administration says as a general rule, “Small Businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8% of their revenues to marketing.” Even though times may be tough right now with the ever-changing economy, don’t mess up your advertising and your marketing budget. A good article on marketing in a recession from Harvard Business Review speaks to this point. A recession is a time to focus on marketing improvements, not cut back, and businesses who hold to their marketing budget end up stronger when coming out of a recession.
Running a business has never been as difficult as it is today with ever-changing consumer demands, competition, government regulations, and all the hats that need to be juggled. Marketing is a major piece of running any company and a big part of its successes.