Pencil Pushers

How do you determine your marketing spend? For some businesses, it’s a simple equation that nets out with a percentage of revenue. Unfortunately, many small and medium sized businesses have marketing spends that aren’t effective. Spends are often determined when business is robust without considering how the spend might need to change if revenue declines.

I was meeting with a prospective client recently who had approached Shift to talk about some basic tactical projects. We covered the usual bases –goals, budget, timeline, and so on. As the conversation progressed, I asked “What does your close rate look like when it comes to new business?” The client paused, looking at me with a bewildered expression, and I knew what he was about to say. He had no idea!

Sensing his discomfort, I explained that if he could share this number with us, we could help him understand its implications, and identify the right spend for him as it related to new business—the cost to close. We would be happy to build a program that would allow him to spend his new business budget in a calculated way. This would allow him to wow his prospects while maintaining relative certainty that he would generate a sale for every specific number of potential customers he approached.

While I love working on brand projects of all sizes, I’ve come to especially enjoy collaborating with smaller companies to help them strategically develop great marketing programs that align perfectly with the company’s goals and character. This saves the client both man hours and dollars.

I’ve learned through working with clients large and small that it always pays to poke and prod a bit. If your agency isn’t asking you hard questions, are they just yes men? In my opinion, we clients don’t pay us to take orders. The value of working with an agency is centered on the expertise that a team of professional strategists and creative thinkers brings to the table. Not just on their pencil pushing power.

Ultimately, the client chose to work with us, and our tough strategic conversations are already paying off.

So, are you being challenged by your agency? Ready to make a Shift? Get in touch today.