How junk status will affect your marketing

Marketers across South Africa are all asking how junk status will affect your marketing expenses. Here’s some tips to help you stretch your budget for maximum ROI.

If you’re tearing your hair out, looking for ways to cope with budget cuts, and downsizing your marketing budget, you’ve come to the right place.

Whenever the economy takes a turn for the worse, one of the first places businesses tend to tighten up on spending is in their marketing expenses. Marketers are often faced with the challenge of trying to get “more bang for their buck” – while still delivering maximum results.

The key to surviving (and even prospering) through trying times, is to stay on top of your marketing budget allocation, and know where to tweak your strategy accordingly. This means taking a deep dive into your data and analysing which areas of your marketing strategy currently produce the highest ROI, and playing to your strengths, rather than wasting too much effort reinventing the wheel.

Here’s three simple ways you can help your marketing budget to stretch everywhere you need it to go…

Combating junk status: how to make your marketing budget go further

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Don’t fix what isn’t broken

You don’t need a brand new concept every time. Trying to push creativity and change for the sake of change is costly, and (don’t hate us) completely unnecessary. There are many ways to keep your marketing fresh and trendy without having to do a complete corporate identity overhaul with every campaign.

A winning marketing strategy is formed over time, and A/B testing is the best way to achieve this. Making small, incremental (and measurable) changes that realign and redirect your campaign toward your business goals is the best way to identify exactly what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t give up on an entire campaign without first testing every possible variable – sometimes a tiny, inexpensive tweak can take an average campaign to new heights.

Read our article, Remaining agile in interesting times, for more tips to help you keep your marketing fresh without breaking the bank.

Integrate your marketing communications

An integrated approach to marketing will extend your reach and amplify your brand’s message. Combining your traditional marketing with a powerful digital strategy, and using things like hashtags to tie everything together, will help to make your offline marketing efforts more easily measurable.

By building your marketing campaign around a clear, central set of goals and objectives, and keeping your message consistent across platforms, you’ll also be able to create content that is evergreen. Evergreen content is content that remains relevant long after your campaign ends – think Dove’s famous “Campaign for real beauty” with Oglivy.

If you’ve never tried an integrated marketing approach before, read our article, 3 examples of successful marketing integration. This will help you get a better idea of how impactful marketing integration can be when it’s done right.

Make sure you measuring what matters

Marketers often struggle to prove the true ROI of their campaigns, as so many variables need to be taken into account. Knowing your actual ROI, in a time when the South African economy is under strain, is imperative. This will allow you to allocate your marketing budget in the most effective way possible. It will also help you justify your expenditure. Being able to prove the value of your marketing efforts will help you to overcome objections to your strategy.

The two most important things to keep in mind when trying to establish the ROI of your marketing efforts are:

Knowing when to measure
It’s difficult to know exactly when the money you spent this morning will show measurable results. It could be a month, two months or even a year from now. The simple answer to the question, “when should I measure my marketing ROI?” is constantly.

If you only measure your campaigns after they’ve run their course, you will have missed several key opportunities to adjust your strategy, and tighten up on weak areas.

Approach your marketing strategy as a marathon – not a sprint.

Knowing what to measure

With access to so many analytics tools, there’s a tendency to become overzealous when it comes to collecting data. Big data is definitely a great tool for marketers, however, not every piece of data is made equal – and it helps to know where you should be spending your time.

The Balance, a personal finance and career advisory platform, identified three ROIs that every marketer needs to know:

  • Cost per visitor
    Cost per Visitor or Response = Amount Spent for Event/Campaign (A) / Number of visitors or response (R)  = Cost per Visitor or Response (CPR)
    Formula: A / R = CPR
  • Cost per qualified lead
    Cost per Qualified Lead = Amount Spent for Event/Campaign ( A) / Number of Qualified Leads (L) = Cost per qualified Lead (CPQL)
    Formula: A / L = (CPQL)
  • Cost per sale
    Cost per Sale = Amount Spent for Event/Campaign (A) / Number of sales (S) = Cost per sale (CPS)  
    Formula:  A / S = CPS

To find out which marketing metrics matter most, read Penquin’s previous post, Measure your marketing efforts successfully: Metrics that matter.

South Africa’s downgrade to junk status, and the potential blow back that’s due to follow, has sent chills throughout the business community. However, the best way for us to tackle the bad news is to approach it as a fresh challenge. Let’s put our marketing skills to the test and do what we do best – get creative. By leveraging technology to your advantage, and adopting an integrated approach to your marketing, you’ll be able to stretch your budget that little bit further – without losing any of that sought after ROI.


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