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Alarm Goes Off: Did 30% of Your Marketing Dollars Just Go to Waste?

What’s the one thing nearly all companies have in common? Sadly, it’s wasted marketing spend. Money that has somehow, someway gone unaccounted for. And, truly, we’ve had enough! Yes, we’re marketers ourselves—but we’re also acutely aware of the criticality of budgeting, resourcefulness and most importantly: strategy.

You see, modern marketing isn’t just about creating experiences and being adaptive. It’s about providing real value to real people, with integrity.

Did you know that in a survey of 1,000 marketers worldwide, respondents estimated nearly 30% of their marketing budgets are wasted due to poor strategic planning, incorrect channel focus, and fraud? On a separate note, at least 15% of advertisers' spending on influencer marketing alone is lost to fraud, costing them $1.3 billion annually.


To ensure your business stays aware, involved and on top of where your marketing dollars are being spent, let’s chat through some quick suggestions.

1. Budget wisely.

While many companies allocate a percentage of actual or projected gross revenues to marketing (usually between 3-5% for small businesses), smart businesses know this percentage can and should vary based on many factors. For example, you’ll want to consider things like industry sector, business capacity, growth projections and how fast you want results before setting your budget.

2. Have a plan.

Effective marketing is rarely simple. To reach your company’s desired growth potential, you must carefully prioritize and establish a strong foundation of marketing services. From brand development costs (website, blogs, sales collateral) to the price of promoting your business (campaigns, advertising, events) there are many factors at play. You’ll also need to identify target markets, goals, messaging and timing—all of which must be backed by careful measurement following execution.

A solid strategy provides the framework for a budget that can easily be accounted for.

3. Don’t get locked into long-term agreements.

Long-term agreements can be major contributors to ineffective spending. They prohibit your ability to pull spend when you realize a particular campaign isn’t meeting key performance indicators (KPIs).

Whether you choose to work with a partner on a month-to-month basis or a la carte, having a flexible marketing resource is key. That way, if something isn’t delivering, you can scrap the effort and shift funds to an area with greater a return on investment (ROI).

4. Test, optimize, revisit, revise.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, adhering to the same marketing efforts year after year. But it’s not recommended. Take a good look at what you’re doing. Make sure you’re testing and measuring each effort. Which are effective? What’s the ROI?

Take advantage of measurement tools to monitor the analytics of your ads, social media and website to determine wasted spend. And, if something’s not working—there’s no shame in revising your strategy.

It’s now 2020. Why lose sleep wondering where your marketing dollars are being spent?

We provide everything needed to measure the impact of our efforts and determine the best way forward. Transparency and financial traceability should not be left up to chance. As modern marketers, we’re capable of using data to draw actionable insights and reallocate funds when necessary. Is your marketing team equipped to do the same?


McNamara Marketing offers a variety of modern marketing services. If you need help creating a purpose-driven strategy, contact us for a free consultation.

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