Planning 2015 Annual Marketing Budgets

imagesThe beginning of a new year has many businesses evaluating and re-evaluating their annual marketing budgets. With the overwhelming speed that technology continues to advance, the growth of social networking and growing popularity of mobile devices, these are two vitally important considerations in our spending.

While this is the time to look at what’s working and what is not, more importantly, what are we missing from our marketing budget? Do our strategies include mobile users and social media? If they don’t, then their inclusion is long overdue. Let’s answer some very important budgetary questions with regard to those on-the-go and our elusive social butterflies.

Why have a “mobile first” mentality?

Quite simply put, mobile is the fastest growing technology in history, going from zero to a trillion in just three, short decades. Mobile should no longer be considered a trend, but rather a fact of life and the wave of the future that is already omnipresent today.

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But what if I can’t afford mobile technology?

You can’t afford not to have mobile technology and there are many free and low-cost ways to reach users on their ubiquitous handheld devices and here are just a few:

 

  • MailChimp – Don’t just send emails, send better messages with the user-friendly, free MailChimp platform.

 

  • Swipely – If you are already using their payment processing service, they also offer a free loyalty program that sends these messages via text.

 

  • Red Stamp – After a one-time set-up fee $29.99 and just $4.99 per month, you can send beautiful, branded, communications that are also social media friendly.

You can see that including some sort of mobile marketing strategy into your budget can be accomplished without breaking the bank.

Why do I keep seeing “Stop using Facebook” articles?

Many of us have been seeing stories telling us to stop marketing on Facebook, but the truth is, while challenging, connecting with users on this and many other social networks can be accomplished when done correctly. Most social groups are a tightly knit bunch who share within their own circles and it was recently revealed that 90% of content on these platforms comes from fewer than 30% of its users.

In order to effectively reach users socially, remember that a business can’t simply put up a post about their fantastic new product or service. Engaging on these platforms is a process, not an attack. You must build your audience with helpful information, valuable tips and advice. Many have seen success with promotions, like Buy One Get One free, rather than pushy tactics looking for a hard sale.

Why should I even bother with social media?

The answer to this question is grounds for an entirely new article, but for the sake of argument, remember these three important items:

  • Presence: Your customers, past, present and future, are already looking for you on social media. Not only are they seeking you out, they are also discussing, reviewing, recommending and sharing details about your product, service or industry.
  • Monitoring: Take a valuable lesson from US Airways considering some monumental fails from 2014. The flight attendant who refused to hang a decorated war veteran’s jacket during a flight that exploded on Twitter using #BoycottUSAirways and continues to take on a life of its own. Then there was the pornographic image posted as a reply to a customer complaint on the Twitterverse.
  • Reply: The mistake that US Airways and other businesses have made on social media is ignoring their audience, even for a short time.

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In 2015, remember when marketing to today’s mobile and social audience, we can effectively reach them without spending a fortune. We can still stick to a budget while engaging with those on-the-go and users aboard popular social networking platforms.

Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com.

 

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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