Despite publication of an annual marketing plan and budget, nearly every business owner, sales leader or marketing professional is routinely faced with those one-off, last-minute, “you’ve got to take advantage of this now” marketing opportunities.
While a great many of these are an easy “no” – especially those that pay you a cold call or office visit (remember those?) – it’s helpful to have an evaluation process in place that you can share with enthusiastic sales staff and even leadership when they come with their hand out.
Here’s a quick list you can use:
- Which of our current marketing objectives does this support? Rather than evaluating tactics individually, we should look at all marketing requests through the lens of “what else are we already doing that this supports?” and ask questions like will this help us do it better, complement or compete with existing efforts, or just be an unmeasurable wasted spend?
- What do we know about the credibility of the offering? One of the things you have to be careful to consider is the legitimacy of that last minute, “we have just one post left,” invitation. Ask for examples of demonstrable experience do they have in your industry, with your customers and at reaching your goals.
- Are they reaching your target audience? Marketers often boast reach volume, but quantity doesn’t matter if the distribution is 1MM strong and 999,9999 of those recipients are outside your target market.
- Are they producing a quality product? Nothing kills the value of a marketing investment more than poor production on that back end. Well-planned marketing opportunities are accompanied by the convenience of time for planning and approvals. Last-minute, hastily run programs allow for errors to seep in. Review examples of prior work carefully for examples of performance then seek details on the approval process and recourse before you sign.
- If they broadcast an affiliation – with city, county, event, professional sports team or noteworthy non-profit – can they prove it? Just because the promotional offering mentions the name of a recognizable brand in the title doesn’t mean there is an official connection. Seek verification.
- Do you know any of their other advertisers? Ask for references. Are there any other recognizable brands – either competition or partners – from your space? Consider whether marketing among them would generate business as well as a positive affiliation for your firm.
This post is courtesy of MMC Principal Jennifer Koon