How Mismatched Messaging Wastes Your Marketing Budget

Regardless of the channel you chose, mismatched messaging could be wasting your marketing budget right now. Having sufficient budget is one thing. Getting good result from the expenditure is another thing.

However, if you are just looking for insights on marketing budget allocation, this post will also enlighten you a little bit.

Down the lines, this post is a comparative analysis of messaging effectiveness between some offline and online marketing mediums. Th the core intent here is not to favor one against the other.

However you will experience increased awareness on how to eliminate possible waste in your current marketing strategies.

It is also not intended to state that all your current offline marketing efforts result in waste.

Different from that, you’ll discover the benefits of allocating a part of your current marketing budget to online channels like Google adwords, search engine optimization, Facebook ads etc.

To spend your small business marketing budget without any useful outcome is the same as wasting.

So my question is; have you ever experienced such a waste?

Mismatched brand and product messaging is just one of the biggest causes. I want you to understand here that it is not always the lack of resources that prevents people from getting the results they desire.

Poor and futile allocation is also a problem.

Targeting everyone and anyone doesn’t make much difference. For one thing, good sales and branding messages is half the battle.

You also need to choose good and proven channels to reach the highest number of qualified prospects. Fail in this regard, and you’ll continue to waste some scarce resources either as a business owner or marketer.

Consequences of Wasted Marketing Budget

Loss of money: depending on the purpose of expenditure, if you can’t break even, your money is gone forever – till November, like Wyclef Jean use to sing.

Loss of time: Time is a very precious resource to everyone. When this kind of waste happens, your time follows too. It could be the time you spent doing the work involved or hiring a consultant to do it.

Missed revenue target: When your money is lost in wasted marketing spend, you miss your revenue targets. And that also means reduced ability to hit that target. This makes a whole lot of things harder.

Unpaid salary bill: Got 1 – 10+ dependent employees? Seat up. This could be the worst. Without earning enough revenue, you may not be able to pay your staff. The situation could get worse if you keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Small Business Marketing Cost Examples

  1. Printed brochure, business cards and letterheads
  2. Offline events
  3. Local Newspapers
  4. Posters and flyers
  5. Billboards
  6. Radio
  7. Television
  8. Digital banners
  9. Direct mail
  10. Yellow pages
  11. Website

These are the major types of advertisements for small business owners. Probably you have used one or more of those or currently using them.

Depending on who spends your marketing budget on any or some of these communication channels, mismatched messaging can happen in all of them. Interestingly, many of them still deliver good results till this day.

But the question is, must you be 100% dependent on them?

Let’s look at the limitations of each of the major channels mentioned above and how it could be wasting your small business marketing budget right now.

I will be doing this subtle analysis in comparison to online marketing mediums like Facebook advertising, Google adword PPC, search engine optimization, email marketing and mobile advertising.

Newspaper Advertising

If you are yet to start newspaper advertising or already spending money on it, here are some things you need to consider.

Are you paying for product marketing or brand awareness campaign?

Your answer to this question will determine the results and level of satisfaction your get in return.

Beyond the core message or advertising contents, you also need to take into account the location of your target audience.

One of the key attractions of offline newspaper advertisements is wide readership. However, if the majority of your target audience is not within commutable distance, it doesn’t make much difference.

Mismatched advertising message regarding location will end up wasting your time and money.

The effectiveness of this medium is also limited by ad clutter and short life span. Unless you own a big company with huge budget.

Now tell me, do you want to pay for visual impressions only or real results?

In comparison to paid Facebook advertising for instance, location targeting is one key driver of the effectiveness.

And you’ll have the opportunity to see the number of persons that actually saw your advert, who visited your website from the ad and actual sales in terms of sales conversion.

Below is a sample of website traffic volume (link clicks) I delivered to a client from Facebook advertising.

marketing budget

As for location, you can target your advertisement based country, state, city and county in addition to age, gender, industry, interest, purchase behavior.

It may interest you to know that many (50 – 90%) of the smart phone users in your target location spends up to 50 minutes daily on Facebook. That’s according a report in New York Times.

Disadvantages Of Poster Advertisment

Printed poster advertisements pasted on some strategic by pass points seems to be location targeted. What better way can one get attention except by definitive visibility.

Unfortunately, visibility alone doesn’t get results. I have also tried this one myself.

While your copy may be precise as to the target audience, the delivery is usually for everyone and anyone.

And because of ad blindness, posters doesn’t get much response rate. The short life span also contributes to its limited effectiveness. However, this is not to say that it doesn’t work at all.

With online marketing strategies like search engine optimization, you’ll be attract only the people who are actively searching for products and services like the ones you offer.

When done very well, money you spent on SEO can be bringing in qualified and interested prospected for months or years to come.

According to ComScore, 78% of mobile searches related to business, product and service information results in location visit.

And with tools like Google search console, you’ll have daily, weekly and monthly report of people coming to your website and the specific keywords that brought them. See the screenshot below for example.

small business seo services

The Problem With Billboard Advertisements

I understand that most companies that use this medium do so for branding purposes. But here is the problem with billboard advertisements.

Except for branding purposes only, any marketing efforts that starts and ends with visuals only doesn’t get much response rate or ROI.

However, I still see a lot of small and medium sized businesses who have immediate sales priorities spend their marketing budget on billboards.

For example, I recently saw an international education consulting company using this exact medium.

Like poster and newspapers, it appeals to almost anyone and everyone on the street. And that is why they belong to the class of mass media.

But let me ask you. Do you want visual impressions only or better ROI on your small business marketing budget?

Assuming I am a married, struggling employee accountant. It doesn’t matter how many times I see your education consulting services advert while driving to and from work. Because I have no need for that at the moment, I won’t respond to your mismatched messages.

Even when I want what is on offer, but can’t afford it, the response rate will be flat zero.

Now can you compare that with someone who is actively searching in Google for the keywords ‘UK education consultants in – add city name’?

With Google adwords, you can start attracting people who are searching for your products, services and related keywords. The same amount of money spent on 1 – 3 months billboard advertising contract is just enough to get someone started.

In fact, you can start with $10 Google adwords daily budget if you know how to implement it. Here is a sample advertisement I created for a client.

google adwords ad examples

Limitations of Radio Advertisements

This is one of the oldest mass media advertising still in use today. Probably, it could be working for some people.

However, am sure you are aware of the fact that one size doesn’t always fit all.

With branding and product marketing messages, one size doesn’t fit all.

Tell me, and say the truth. When was the last time you listened to and responded to radio advertisements?

I bet you’ll rather be browsing on your mobile smartphone instead of listening to radio advert jingles. Joke aside; i don’t need anyone to tell me that you spend much of your media consumption time online, not on radio.

In a world full of people with intensely distracted and fragmented attention spans, one minute radio adverts aren’t enough to get the exact results you desire.

Sure you could be combining this with other mediums.

To get any response at all, you need a budget to maintain a relatively high degree of effective frequency. That is for the few people who may have interest in your product and services to get the contact information.

Without messaging frequency, you may be wasting your money on futile brand awareness campaigns. Perhaps you want more than that.

On the other hand, email marketing offers a low cost alternative for messaging frequency, leads and sales generation.

But first, you need to build an email list before getting started. Email marketing funnel integration works because a lot of people spend good amount of time inside their inbox.

Targeted and personalized. That’s how it works. Check this 44 email marketing case studies for more insights.

Call To Action

Here is the gist. Decreasing effectiveness, high cost and competition in the traditional marketing channels known to you requires different strategies now.

You really need to stop competing in a crowded marketplace with close eyes.

Before you spend your next or current small business marketing budget, you need to clarify the goals of building brand awareness, product marketing or immediate sales generation.

However, you don’t have to put a halt to all that are currently working for you right now.

Like I use to say, having good information is good, but not enough. It is your commitments and actions that will make the real difference.

So just take a look at all the traditional mediums listed above. Tick the ones you use currently. And see if you can create an online marketing budget reallocating your resources for bigger ROI.

Please share experience or challenges in the comment section.

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.