Is Marketing the Ultimate Investment in Your Business?
As the calendar rolls over into a new year, hopefully you’re devoting some time into both determining what worked during the past twelve months and creating a plan to make your company stronger.
Now, the truth of the matter is that this isn’t something you can only do at the start of the year. In fact, evaluating performance and planning future initiatives should be a year-round endeavor!
Are you continually improving?
If you have any background in methodologies like Six Sigma—or related process improvement practices—then you are familiar with the Japanese concept of kaizen.
(For the uninitiated, kaizen roughly translates into “continual improvement.” This is a mindset of constantly identifying obstacles to peak effectiveness and then taking appropriate measures to remove them. In doing so, an organization or individual can move closer to an ideal state.)
Given the “continual” element of kaizen, we are talking about something that shouldn’t be limited only to a specific day or season of the year.
That being the case, it’s always a good time to learn from the past, build upon success, and have a fluid plan in mind—which brings us to the issue at hand:
How can you invest in your business?
When we think about improvements and your company’s ability to become stronger, it’s important to consider the investments you make in it.
Now, some of these are more self-evident than others:
- Equipment and technology upgrades. Capital investments might not directly increase sales or generate revenue from interest, but you can improve profitability if the right ones either lower costs or boost production (if you’re in the manufacturing industry). New machinery and computers (etc.) are direct investments in your company.
- Acquisitions. Acquiring an existing business or product/service is another kind of investment that companies can make. When taking this approach, there are numerous ways you may be able to receive a healthy return on your investment. Perhaps you acquire a product to enhance your existing line and/or expand your own customer base. Or you might do this to remove marketplace competition, etc.
- Real estate. This is simply an outstanding investment whether you own a company or not. For those who do have a business, you gain equity you’d otherwise be missing out on by leasing space in someone else’s property. An added benefit of this investment is that you will have more power when negotiating credit lines (which you can use for additional investments to strengthen your company).
- Your team. Keeping the maxim “take care of the people who take care of your customers” in mind, investing in your employees is a wise move. Done right, this kind of investment will give you a more knowledgeable, productive team. Even better, you can potentially reduce employee attrition rates. That’s important because replacing existing employees is costly and cuts into your company’s profitability.
But there’s still one more type of investment that we haven’t covered yet…
How is marketing an investment in your business?
As you can probably guess, the investment we haven’t covered yet is marketing.
In part, we’ve held off on marketing because it doesn’t fall in the “obvious” category of investments you can make in your company.
Those other examples are—for the most part—quite tangible in nature:
- When you purchase new laptops, drill presses, cash registers, etc., you can see and feel the respective objects.
- If you own the building housing your business, it’s (in all likelihood) literally concrete.
- Even investing in employees basically meets this criterion, since (with apologies to Rene Descartes) people clearly exist in physical reality.
Being an abstract concept, marketing doesn’t fit the bill.
If we consider the definition of investing to be “expending resources with the intent of improving an existing state,” however, it absolutely does.
See, the reason companies use marketing is to create new sales leads. In turn, this can lead to increased revenue. And since it takes resources to effectively market a business, all criteria of that definition are covered.
There’s another reason we didn’t lump marketing in with investments like capital expenditures and real estate: the importance it plays in your company’s success.
Is marketing the ultimate business investment?
Yes, marketing is the ultimate investment you can make in your business.
That said, the answer to that question might have been different as recently as twenty years ago.
So, what changed?
Here’s a hint: we’re talking about the biggest technological advance of our lifetime (and perhaps even in human history).
Yep, the internet.
And because the internet has become such a pervasive entity in our lives—to the point everyone carries around handheld tools that enable 24/7 connectivity—the nature of marketing itself has expanded greatly.
Whereas once upon a time marketing was mostly a matter of having ads in periodicals and on television and the radio, nowadays we’re talking about things like:
- Sophisticated email marketing campaigns
- Social media marketing that strengthens and promotes brand identity
- Websites that convert visitors into sales leads
- Techniques and efforts to boost SEO
- Videos that can be hosted on a variety of platforms
Clearly, this isn’t your grandmother’s marketing anymore!
Going back to how the internet has pervaded our personal lives, the simple fact is that pretty much everyone goes online to find new products and services.
When they do, you benefit greatly if they’re finding/liking/connecting with your company.
That alone would be a convincing case as to why marketing is an outstanding investment—but it only taps into half of what constitutes investing.
The other half of the story is the amount of resources you invest.
Back in the day, you had to pay a ton if you wanted your commercials and ads to be seen by people. That was expensive. Even worse, it wasn’t incredibly effective.
Casting an incredibly wide net—like airing a television commercial or having an ad appear in a newspaper—could certainly generate some results. (People wouldn’t have used these methods if they didn’t!)
The thing is, though, that you can get considerably better results for even less money by using online ads, which target people you know are already interested in the products and/or services your company provides.
It doesn’t take an economics professor to realize that getting more for less is the quintessential definition of optimal ROI.
Get the best return on your investment—with superior digital marketing!
Online advertising is simply a single example of how digital marketing can make a powerful impact for you and your business.
If you’re a smart businessperson who wants to receive the best possible ROI, then you should consider utilizing a comprehensive, strategic marketing plan built upon pillars that work in conjunction with each other.
Given that the internet is here and won’t be going away anytime soon, you can learn about everything entailed with digital marketing, spend time creating a marketing strategy, and then implement it.
Of course, that does take a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources you’d probably rather allocate to running your business.
If you’d rather have someone else handle it for you—like perhaps an experienced, talented, and hard-working marketing agency—you might want to consider taking that approach instead.
Want to learn more about digital marketing or see what 2nGage can do for you? Then please feel free to reach out. Give us a call or fill out our online form. We’d be happy to chat with you and answer any questions you might have.