A major objective of both a marketing program and retirement planning is growth. Both short-term and long-term. It’s easier to measure the growth in your investments because the results show up on your statement each month. Sometimes the balance goes up and sometimes it decreases, but it’s always there and crystal clear. In marketing, however, some advertising options are chosen for maximum impressions to build brand awareness. It’s not so easy to measure but definitely important. 

The first comparison to make is diversification. With a marketing program and an investment strategy, you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. Every expert will say that’s risky. A balanced marketing plan may include some effort or spending in social media, print publications, targeted online display ads, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), re-targeting efforts like newsletters, and depending upon the budget possibly television, radio or out-of-home advertising. The exact right balance of all those media depends on your product, feeder markets and visitor demographics. The important point is that balance is best.

Can you spread your marketing too thin? Yes you can. This is where the diversification metaphor is slightly imperfect. You can diversify too much. For example, it’s not reasonable to place an ad in a single issue of a magazine (because you’re trying to spread your limited budget to include ads in as many places as possible) and then wonder why there wasn’t a spike in phone calls and website clicks. You’ll be much better off zeroing in on fewer publications that are the absolute best for reaching your target demographic, and advertising consistently throughout the year.

There is yet another way in which a marketing program is like an investment plan, one that way too many marketers overlook. Even after protecting yourself with the right degree of diversification, don’t you still want every single marketing initiative to be performing at the highest possible level?

Ideally, every stock or mutual fund in your 401K is not just growing, but outperforming the market in general. In marketing, you need every advantage to ensure that each initiative is getting the best results possible. One key is quality creative work that gets noticed, clicked and remembered. Another is the best possible targeting and keywords. Metrics like click-thru-rates (CTR) measure the efficiency of a campaign. In other words, more bang for the buck. With e-mail marketing, the click-thrus and open rates are the key metrics. The quality of the content, design, subject line, and smart use of links can increase performance in email.

Now that your destination marketing plan has balance and consists of a variety of tools, all of which were well researched first, its time to monitor the results. Have realistic expectations. Some initiatives should start to show website clicks promptly while others take longer to work. Before throwing in the towel on any of the tools, ask if there is anything you can do to make them perform better. For example, can the creative work be better? Is the landing page truly designed for conversions? Can the online and social media targeting be improved? Tinker with all these things and more to make each and every marketing project a star performer. 


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