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Why your marketing is an investment, not an expense

A lot of businesses face the same challenges, no matter what industry they belong to or what size they are. It’s all about standing out from the competition to drive sales that lead to profits. It’s often good marketing that provides businesses with the edge, increasing awareness, customer acquisition and loyalty for greater revenue and overall ROI.

Yet, marketing often gets a reputation for being more of a revenue taker than a revenue maker, usually because it’s considered an expense rather than an investment. Says the marketing agency, right? We know that our take on this isn’t exactly surprising. However, we also know it’s true. Through the years, we’ve seen strategic marketing work in real time for real companies.

A Short-Term Approach

Generally, there are three issues companies have with marketing: budget, prioritization and strategy.

Let’s say you own a mid-sized company. It’s doing well, but you think you can take the business to the next level. You have a small budget allocated for marketing and advertising. It’s not that substantial because marketing isn’t an essential expense to you in the way inventory, equipment and staff are. After all, there’s not much to market if your business can’t function. So, you run a few campaigns online for a couple of months, only seeing a few clicks and maybe, if you’re lucky, a handful of conversions. What gives?

Poor ROI is, without a doubt, discouraging. You may decide to cut marketing expenses even further or divert them entirely to other parts of your business. We’ve seen this scenario over and over; it’s especially common when sales are down.

Optimizing for ROI

We understand why businesses in these situations see marketing as a cost that they need to reduce or eliminate. However, this is exactly where many companies misstep. When products and services or the equipment and people behind them underperform, we adapt. We make adjustments, problem solving and fine tuning. Why isn’t this mentality extended to marketing?

It sounds simple, but it starts with understanding marketing for what it really is: a long-term investment. When you give your business time to find the right strategies, marketing has the power to showcase your competitive advantage to the people most interested in it. If a campaign isn’t effective, it doesn’t mean that marketing as a whole just won’t work. Maybe the campaign wasn’t relevant to your target audience or wasn’t shared on channels your potential customers use. Perhaps the strategy wasn’t quite what your business needed in the first place—or there wasn’t a strategy behind the ads at all.

Investing for Growth

Many businesses fail to see that inaction is far more costly than a single marketing misfire. Investing in your business is a key step in growing your business; this includes marketing. If you’re not marketing to current and potential customers, think about who might be catching their attention instead. Your lack of marketing could easily be to your competitors’ benefit.

While we’re not saying that you can’t succeed without a strategic, long-term marketing approach, we are saying it might be an uphill battle that could very well cost you more in the long run.