Every agency has years when sales are down, whether it is due to internal or external events. It is good business practice to reduce costs when money is tight because sales are down. We often see agencies cut their marketing expenses at these times.
Some people say that during tough times marketing spending should be increased, not cut. I disagree. Sort of.
You can decrease expenses but do more marketing. How?
It's pretty simple. Like every other operating cost a business has, marketing needs to be looked at closely to identify ineffective programs to eliminate. Basically, cut any marketing campaign that does not have tangible results.
To identify which marketing campaigns to stop, you first need to know which ones generate leads. You need to ask every single lead that comes in, how he or she found out about your agency. Only then will you be able to discover which campaigns are working and which ones aren't.
You can take it a step further and calculate the actual cost of customer acquisition. For example, if you spend $1,000 on a print ad in your local paper and got two auto insurance customers from it, the cost per sale of that campaign is $500. If your commission on those sales is only $100, that ad was not effective enough at driving sales for your agency and should be cut.
Now let's look at the other side. If you invest $500 in SEO for your insurance website, and you get seven auto insurance customers a month that can be linked to your SEO efforts, that's a marketing program that should not be cut because you're making $200 profit each month on that investment. You should be looking at how you can enhance that campaign even more.
I don't recommend blindly cutting any program from your budget. Instead take the time to really figure out which ones are producing for your agency and which ones aren't. You'll be spending your money wisely and achieving better results.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder