Five Big Reasons Why You Need to Know Your Figures

Brain Balance

When people hear the word “Marketing” they often think of all the creative outputs of marketing – TV advertising, big brands, websites, digital campaigns, glossy brochures and all that sexy stuff that oozes creativity.

You will often hear marketing departments get called the “pretty picture” parade, or if someone asks what the marketing team are up to you, you will probably hear tongue in cheek comments like “colouring in probably”.

So let’s just put the record straight.  Yes, there is a creative element to marketing, but it is far more Einstein than Mozart.  It is more left brain than right brain and we are going to explain why a purely creative thinking marketer will always fail!

In order to successfully market your business you need to know your figures and here are big reasons why!

#1 : The bottom line is that marketing is all about the bottom line.

It is not about looking good, purely building brand awareness and winning awards for your creativity.  It is about getting a return from your marketing spend and adding more profits to the company’s P&L than are being invested at the top!

#2: You need to know what your marketing needs to achieve

This sounds obvious, but believe me, most SME’s don’t even have a sales target.  How can a marketing department make decisions on where best to spend your budget (if you have one), if they don’t know what the aim is?  Marketing should not be habitual nor a whim.  Every £1 that is invested needs to have a purpose and it should be turning it into £2, or £5 or £10.  If a marketing department is given a budget of £20K to spend you need to make sure they know how many enquiries they need to generate.

#3 How can you measure your effectiveness?

Unless you have a grasp of your figures it is difficult to ascertain which areas of activity are working and which aren’t.  You have to be crystal clear on what your Cost Per Acquisition and Cost Per Enquiry needs to be in order to get you the results you desire.  This also needs to be done in real-time.  It is no good reviewing it at the end of the year when you have spent all the budget and it hasn’t generated a positive return.

#4 It is the only way you can improve performance

There are 4 key marketing metrics that as a business owner you can control and influence, everything else is an output of other things.  These are client retention rates, average annual customer spend, conversion rates and margins.  Unless you are crystal clear on what these figures are – you cannot start to know which area improvement  will have the biggest impact on the bottom line.

#5 You need to balance investment with performance

How can you possibly start to set a marketing budget for the year without knowing how many enquiries you need at the top of the funnel in order to reach your targets?   Start with the additional sales required, based on your conversion rate work out how many additional enquiries you need to generate and calculate your desired Cost Per Enquiry.  Only then can you start to ensure that you are not over-spending or under investing and under-performing.

So if you haven’t got a grasp of your figures yet, get a left-brained marketer to help you first take control, then engage with the creative right brainers to capture the enquiries.  You wouldn’t buy a house that had no foundations, so why do the same with your business?

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.