Kirsty Bisset
Kirsty Bisset

How retailers should spend their marketing budget

By Kirsty Bisset, HaveYouHeard Durban MD. Six ways retailers should strategically spend their marketing budget in the new financial year.

By Kirsty Bisset, HaveYouHeard Durban MD. For the new financial year, here are six strategic ways that retailers should spend their marketing budget.

1. Culture content is king
Kirsty Bisset

A company’s culture can often determine whether employees stay or seek new opportunities. Similarly, customers are also impacted – positively or negatively – by the company culture. Therefore, the marketing content you create and display across the various platforms you utilise should demonstrate what you want your work environment to be like and what you hope to accomplish. Internal communication is also important.

By promoting company culture in a monthly internal newsletter, employees will feel more connected to the organisation. In addition, automated tools can be used to distribute this type of content to customers, recruits, and employees as part of a nurturing campaign. With trends like the great resignation and quiet quitting taking centre stage, investing in your staff and internal culture is crucial. In retail, your staff are often the initial touchpoint that your customers experience, so they need to feel an affinity to your brand to represent you in the best way possible.

2. Rate your reputation

Monitoring is an important part of managing your business. Working closely with sales, marketing and PR teams can be an insightful glimpse into how your brand is actually perceived relative to the perception you’re aiming to put out there. Consumers may decide to buy from your business based on what they discover on Google or social media, or from interacting with past customers and employees. So, it makes sense that employees are provided with a plan about what to do if they notice something negative being said online about the company.

3. Data is still an important investment

It is important to understand your customers’ metrics, from what they want in your organisation, to how they engage with your website, to the amount of time they spend in your store, to how much they spend. In the absence of detailed data, you are likely to make broad assumptions that may have costly consequences. Take, for example, website traffic vanity metrics. Brand X might brag about having twice as many visitors to their site as Brand Y, but because Brand Y invested in understanding its audience better, its smaller traffic nevertheless leads to three times as many sales as Brand X. The right people are visiting Brand Y’s website and they are spending money there. Investing in website user testing to understand where site visitors may be getting lost or dissuaded along their customer journey, is recommended.

4. Spend strategically on social media and SEO

Social media platforms have been through the wringer in the past couple of years with many advertisers pulling their spend. But the power of these platforms isn’t budging so it’s not a bad idea to invest in social media and search engine optimisation. When you do so, however, you should step back and consider where you are sending users with these advertisements and links. Ensure that you’re not spending or posting for the sake of it and that every effort is being made to be intentional.

Think about the destination first. When you aren’t bringing them into a physical store and they aren’t interested in speaking to a salesperson, where are you going to take them? It is also important for online retailers to make sure their landing pages and websites utilise a variety of media since audiences learn differently.

5. Acquisition is great. Retention is better

Leaders often think about new markets and new audiences when considering new marketing opportunities, but one area where your marketing budget could be spent is on existing customers. The most profitable source of revenue is from existing customers, so make sure you drive the highest lifetime value possible. It’s a futile effort to start throwing spaghetti at the wall of new markets unless you maximise the profitability and value of your existing customers. You’ll have lower success, lower conversion, and lower profitability in those markets that are new.

6. Explore sponsorship opportunities

Events are back in a big way, but sponsorships are often overlooked as a channel for marketing budgets. And you’re right – they can be if not leveraged correctly, both in person and online. The right events can be a great way to reach the right people.


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