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Inbound Marketing Blog

    4 Ways to Blow Your Marketing Budget

    Posted by Jenni Bednarz

    Not all marketing dollars are created equal. How are you utilizing your budget?

    Between traditional and digital marketing, there are more ways than ever to utilize your marketing budget. All of these options can make it difficult to recognize the best way to spend your budget. While there are many great possibilities, there are also more money-wasting tactics than ever.

    Here are 4 or our top ways to throw away your marketing budget.

     Direct Mail Marketing

    We’re all familiar with direct mail flyers, more often dubbed “junk mail.” While many marketers may think direct mail marketing is a no-brainer, it turns out that it is one of the best ways to throw away your marketing budget.

    44% of direct mail is never even opened. However, as of 2013 direct mail remained the largest direct marketing expenditure, even though it costs nearly 100 times more than email marketing. To top it off, the average cost per lead using direct mail is around $50.

    Instead of opting for this outdated marketing method, try email marketing. Although it is still a form of direct marketing, it is a much more cost effective option, yielding an average of 4,300% ROI for businesses.  

    Display Advertising

    Did you know that standard and mobile banner ads only have an average 0.12% and 0.14% click-through rates respectively?

    How about the fact that ad-blocking grew by 41% in 2015, or that a whopping 56% of display ads are never even seen by humans?

    While display ads may seem like an obvious use of your marketing budget, more and more consumers are oblivious to these ads. In one survey, nearly half of the respondents had installed an ad blocker or planned to in the next six months. There are now approximately 45 million active ad blocking users in the US alone, and it is estimated that ad blocking costed advertisers $22 million in 2015 alone.

    It seems that display advertising is quickly becoming a trend of the past. With mobile traffic now making up 60% of all web traffic, and both Apple and Android devices allowing ad blockers, it is only going to become more difficult to reach consumers with display ads. It’s time to leave this advertising relic in the dust.

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    Useless Tradeshow Swag

    Giving away free tradeshow swag is definitely nothing new. Most people love the idea of getting free stuff - especially if it’s something cool! Unfortunately, many companies give away cheap, useless tchotchkes that attendees are just going to throw away.

    Keychains, pens, paperweights, and stickers are all standard tradeshow swag, but they’re also the items that will end up in the trash first. If your company is going to spend the money to give away free swag, it needs to be items that attendees will actually keep and use. Afterall, the entire point of giving away free items is to remind the attendees of your company.

    Some great swag items that are guaranteed to be used many times include phone chargers, notebooks, and cool t-shirts. If going the t-shirt route, try including a cool phrase or graphic - not just your company logo. Whatever tradeshow swag you decide to give away, make sure it is useful.

    Google AdWords

    Google controls 67.6% of the search engine market in the U.S. Because of this, it can seem like the best place to advertise. Although Google AdWords can be a good option, many businesses rely too heavily on this platform.

    Many consumers see Google AdWords, but choose not to click on them. This can be because the ad doesn’t line up well with their search query; some people even distrust the ads. Some industries even pay over $50 per click with AdWords.

    Google AdWords can be very beneficial, but too many businesses consider it the end-all and be-all of their advertising. A more effective option is to diversify your advertising portfolio by advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites, in addition to Google AdWords.

    Beware these 4 money-sucking marketing tactics, and you’ll be well on your way to using your budget effectively. Our best advice is to use data to inform your marketing decisions - this technique always returns the best results.

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    Topics: Inbound Marketing