As an integral component of your business plan and budget, how do you determine the true cost of promoting your product or service?

The overall concept of marketing in a digital age has altered some conventional methods while adding new platforms to the process. As you develop your strategies, consider the background work and associated variable costs. Are you depending on employees to supervise marketing campaigns in addition to their specified production work? Or are you spending more on offsite and third-party promotional assistance to reach target audiences? The many facets of marketing over a wide range of plans require time and careful calculations.

As a first step, review each part of your marketing plan for employee input or outside commitment. If utilizing employee assistance such as monitoring your website or other media outlets, what is this time costing in salary and departure from their primary job? You may have a marketing staff and budget, but periodically review where efforts can be streamlined or changed to enhance promotion while defining cost adjustments.

With so many different marketing platforms available, you may be tempted to use several of them at the same time. Matching the venue with sales records will show what outlets are reaching customers with the best results. Be aware of background costs associated with each platform. How much time is involved with establishing a presence, maintaining information and answering inquiries?

Many direct marketers and family-run operations have assigned interns or family members for this engagement task. While the arrangement is (in most cases) convenient, it can prompt work hours not readily accounted for in marketing budgets. Developing a written marketing plan addressing how all platforms will be handled and by whom will provide an outline for accountability and successful campaigns.

Marketing in today’s environment is exciting for the many opportunities available to reach a variety of potential customers. In planning strategies, look for background costs which influence where and how your marketing will pay dividends currently and in the future. Combining all these factors will give you the true cost of marketing and help you decide on winning strategies.

The above information is for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional business or legal counseling.