Let’s Begin To With Your Marketing Profit Clarity…
Welcome! Here’s where we ask if your marketing is *making* you money… or *costing* you money?
Clarity equals power.
The more you understand what your marketing is costing you, the clearer you can get on where to spend your time and money to achieve the best results.
This Lesson breaks down 3 common online marketing tactics:
- Social media
- Email Marketing
It’s true that this is specifically a social media-related Course, however blogging and email marketing are intrinsically linked to social media (or, they should be!), so it pays to get clear on these actions from the outset so you can move forward with a clear plan.
There are a lot of variables when it comes to marketing – especially on social media – which makes profit clarity a critical concept to master if you want the maximum return on your investment.
By the end of this Lesson you will have a plan to audit your own marketing processes using the ‘3 P’s of Profit Clarity’ so you can focus your time and money on what works…doing more of the best and forgetting the rest.
Let’s get started…
Know The Value Of What You Do…
I heard a story of CEO in the retail industry who spent his first month on the job silently assessing what each Head Office team did on a daily basis.
This is a true story…
There was a sub-team of the finance department in the company made up of 4 people whose sole responsibility was to produce a certain type of detailed stock report that was sent to every store manager in the country, every Tuesday morning without fail.
The CEO did some digging on the value of these reports and unsatisfied with the response, promptly ordered production to stop immediately, unbeknown to his 900 strong store management team.
At the end of the month, only one manager had queried the absence of her weekly figures. Which meant 899 other managers either didn’t notice or didn’t care. What’s more, the functionality of these 899 stores suffered no apparent loss as a result of the report ceasing production.
So what did the CEO do? He reprimanded the Manager who read a report that was clearly surplus to requirements and made the whole finance sub-team redundant.
Harsh? Absolutely! But a valuable lesson in understanding how your daily activities contribute to the overall success of the company.
And we can translate that to: your marketing actions, however seemingly small and insignificant, will impact the overall success of your business and marketing goals.
Is Your Marketing Bringing In The Money?
Here’s an example: if you’re spending £16k on a marketing assistant salary, that’s £16,000 (+ taxes, pension, etc) return on investment you need to see each year in order to just break even.
It’s always saddened me that marketing is seen as a business ‘expense’ over a business ‘asset’ but when you see it written out like that, you can’t argue, can you?
The average salary for a Marketing Manager in the UK is £38,000, so you can see the pressure mounting.
Let’s run some numbers:
- Say you spend £25,000 per year on a Marketing Executive
- You pay them 52 weeks per year, minus 6 weeks’ holiday entitlement + bank holidays, etc
- They work roughly 37.5 hours a week for 46 weeks
- That’s 1,725 hours of potential productivity
- Meaning you pay £14.49 for each active hour of their time
They’re rough figures, but keep them in mind as we move forward…
First Up: Let’s Look At Social Media…
People love social media because “It’s FREEEE!” But it isn’t really free, is it?
It’s true that there’s no physical outlay to have a basic presence on each of the main networks for recruiters, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Yet even at its most basic entry level, social media takes time to manage: whether you’re doing a good job or not.
Social Media is a marketing activity that I consider to be an essential for modern businesses.
In fact, many brands – many marketers, even – don’t realise that it’s actually infinitely more expensive to run a bad social media campaign than it is to run a good one.
The cost of ‘getting it right’ lies firstly in clearly defining your goals.
- Alongside your website, social media is your hardest working marketing asset: it’s the face of your company 24/7, 365 days per year
- At any point in time, a potential client or customer can be looking at your social media presence and forming a decision on your brand
- First impressions count: if your posts, articles, images etc aren’t acutely relevant to your target audience, they’ll leave
- Attention is currency. If you succeed in capturing their attention past the initial first impression, what you do with it next is crucial: all roads must lead back to your own business & website
- If your marketing strategy focuses heavily on sharing links and information from third parties, you’re essentially redirecting your audience to other companies. Good in small doses, foolish as a master plan
If you don’t have calls to action that direct your audience back to your website, or to your own unique content (blogs, videos, articles, etc) then you are failing to leverage valuable attention and in doing so, you’re putting your time (and money) down the drain.
You don’t own your content on social media!
If you don’t have a clearly defined strategy for getting your target market off social media and on to your website or email list (assuming you can attract their attention in the first place), then you have no way of capturing their data for future use.
Furthermore, if Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc were to shut down tomorrow (or, if your account is repeatedly reported for spam or misuse) you would lose your audience, with no recourse to get it back.
That’s a scary thought.
Now let’s look at social media in practice:
Recently I worked with a business in central London whose time allocation on social media marketing went something like this:
- Time spent crafting the written updates to accompany each post: 2 hours per week
- Time spent actually posting the content: 1.5 hours per week
- Time spent sourcing ‘articles of interest’ on third party sites: 5 hours per week(!)
- Time spent collating internal news and updates for social media usage: 1.5 hours per week
- Time spent interacting with other brands, replying to questions, etc: 2 hours
If we were to use our calculations from above, this is their outlay:
- 12 hours of time @ £14.49 per hour = £173.91 per week (that’s 1.5 days work!)
- Monthly cost equals = £753
- Yearly cost attribute to social media equals = £9043.00
Now let’s look at what they were getting in return:
- 1-2 ‘Likes’ on each shared article & social media update – 30% of these ‘Likes’ over the course of the month were internal actions from the marketing team and sales consultants, not independent fans
- Average 1-2 clicks for every 5 links shared (these links went to third party sites, not their own website!)
- New Fans & Followers: 5-10 per month (bear in mind this company serviced tens of thousands of people throughout the UK)
- Target customers and complimentary brands sharing their updates: less than 8 per year
- Trackable clicks through to their website: 1-2 per month
- New business as a direct result of social media presence: unable to quantify, estimated ‘about 2 clients’ per year.
This is an example of a social media presence that was painstakingly executed with great care and attention to detail, but lacked an understanding of the role social sites play in the overall marketing strategy.
This meant that the company was essentially paying out nearly £10k per year for less than 30 people to ‘Like’ their updates, 8 people to share their links and about 15 people to visit their website.
They knew their ROI wasn’t great, but seeing it in the cold light of day meant things had to change…fast.
Next Question…Do You Know Why You Blog?
Something crazy like 80% of blogs that are written are never even read. Soul crushing to a marketer; red flag to a marketer’s boss!
Blogging is another example of a marketing activity that brands think they ‘need to do’ but they’re not 100% clear on why.
The universally accepted reason is that blogging is “good for SEO”, yet a blog that’s written and not read isn’t doing much for your website rankings, and is doing even less towards positioning your business as the ‘go-to’ expert in your field.
Blogging For Profit: The Number 1 Question That Needs Answering Before Your Hit ‘Publish’
Writing a blog post takes a lot of time…and time costs money. And just like with social media, it takes time whether you’re doing a good job, or a bad job.
Before you hit ‘publish’ you need to know without doubt that the content of the post is acutely relevant to your target customer, whether that be a client or a candidate.
You need to be absolutely sure that you are speaking their language, addressing their key trigger points and stirring an emotional response in them great enough for them to take the next step of their journey with you.
If you can’t answer that question after your first draft, go back to the drawing board until you can.
Time that is spent on blogs that don’t contribute to the overall positioning of your brand as a true expert in its field are a waste of your valuable time and resources.
Profit Clarity Point Number 3: Email Marketing
There are few forms of modern marketing that are as intimate as email marketing.
Because social media is so loud & proud, it is easy to mistakenly assume that email marketing is dead. In fact, email marketing is getting stronger:
- Email open rates can be as high as 35% for highly engaged recipients, whereas Facebook interaction plateaus at around 1-3%.
- 82% of consumers open emails from companies
- 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices
- Email marketing is highly measurable and trackable, enabling you to instantly analyse your return on investment: where you should focus more, or less of your resources
The relationships you are able to develop with your target clients and customers over email are much deeper than those you can hope to build over blogging and social media alone, which makes it your secret weapon in positioning your brand ahead of your competition.
If email marketing is not a significant part of your recruitment marketing strategy you are leaving potential profits on the table.
So…How To Gain Marketing Profit Clarity For Your Business
There are many contributing factors to a profitable marketing strategy, and marketing department as a whole. Essentially, they can be boiled down into 10 questions across 3 main categories:
- What are you trying to achieve with your marketing?
- Is everyone in your team clear / in agreement of your overall purpose?
- Is your current strategy contributing to your goals?
- Who are the exact people you are trying to convert with your marketing: what are your customer profiles?
- What are their main pressure points (in relation to your service); what is going to make them choose your agency over your competitors?
- Are you leveraging the knowledge and experience of your sales consultants to produce stronger and more relevant marketing material?
- Are you using the right marketing methods and platforms to reach your target market?
- Does your marketing material have clear calls to action?
- Do you have a clearly defined journey for your clients and candidates to follow once they enter your marketing funnel?
- Do you have systems in place for measuring the success of your marketing pathways?
This is a lot to take in, and when you undertake this exercise you may raise more questions than you answer.
Don’t be scared…you’ve got this!
It is important you understand the concept of profit clarity so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Coming Up Next…
In part two of this social media profit clarity series I will uncover ‘The Problem Of Being Everywhere, And The Smarter Way To Get Attention’.
Look out for it in your inbox – it’s an eye opener!
To your marketing success!