Nix the mix? When you should pull back on your marketing mix


I frequently get the question, “How much marketing should I do?” I respond to that question with a question: “How much does dinner cost?”

In both cases, the answer is “It depends on what you want.” Your return on investment (ROI) is also contingent on the message, the quality of the list, and the delivery mechanism. Throwing more money at a marketing campaign may not make it more successful, just more expensive!

Here are some considerations while planning your marketing mix. It’s bad to add more marketing if:

  • your existing efforts are scattered around the country (or the globe) with no coordination or cohesion, because they can conflict to the point where they mask each other.
  • each of your marketing programs carries a different message that divides your results instead of uniting them (for example, customers in one location thought they would get the benefits of another’s region, only to find out it didn’t apply to them).
  • your team hasn’t worked together closely, and your marketing programs are not coordinated; they cannot feed each other, so a potential 15% return from an integrated marketing campaign slips to just 3% (or even less) for a single effort.
  • you bought a program that was so expensive you can no longer afford to invest in a broader reach, so you get just a narrow portion of the market for a very high price.
  • you can’t track results because you didn’t build in a system for gathering metrics; so, you don’t know what’s working and what’s not (very expensive!).
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