Hint: The Answer is Yes, but It Requires a Shift in Your Culture
In 2017, 70% of small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) increased their marketing budgets and included more digital marketing in their overall strategy. Clearly, CEOs of SMBs felt like they were missing out on something. But, by the end of the year, how many sat back and wondered, was it worth it?
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We recently put together an infographic with all the amazing stats to show, “Yes, Marketing is Worth It!” But the truth behind the numbers lies just beneath the surface.
The Truth Behind the Numbers
Companies only truly benefit from marketing when they value marketing as a key component of their strategy for growth and success. Marketing has to be integrated into your business and culture. It can’t be something, as a CEO, that you are resistant to and you hesitate to invest in. If marketing is something you dip your toe into just to find that the water is too cold, it’ll never be water you feel comfortable in.
Here’s how you know if your company’s culture values marketing:
Your Sales Team Values Marketing
I think the most obvious sign that you and your company embrace marketing is that your sales team also embraces marketing. In companies where the marketing and sales departments fight and compete instead of collaborating and appreciating each other, it is easy to see that marketing is undervalued in that company. A good marketing program should feed leads to sales, shorten sales cycles, and make it easier to be successful, so there’s no reason for sales and marketing to fight.
Everyone is Excited to Share Ideas
Another sign that your culture appreciates marketing is that everyone in your company has ideas that they want to contribute, and they’re excited about them. In companies where marketing is not valued, often ideas sound like complaints, “I don’t understand why we don’t try to do this.” Or, “We’d get more customers if we weren’t stuck doing this.” Instead, when marketing is a priority, all departments from HR to Finance start looking for solutions to their issues and wonder if marketing and communication projects can solve their issues and make for a better experience.
Your Website is a Tool for Business Success – Not an Outdated Online Brochure
Probably the highest level of marketing appreciation is when a company invests in their website as a growth tool, instead of a website that gets an update once a year. When investments are being made into digital strategy, sales growth strategies, and advertising, your website becomes a company employee with high stakes responsibilities like spokesperson, salesperson, referral maker, and the company’s subject matter expert. Slapping together a site and calling it a day means you don’t believe marketing is going to result in website visitors that expect much from your website.
The best, fast-growth companies focus on marketing throughout the customer experience: from beginning to end. Rather than adding digital marketing to a plan, they integrate digital marketing as a tactic under the branding strategy, customer support, and lead generation strategy. Instead of “starting a blog,” they think about their website and ask what kind of content would help our customer’s experience.
Changing your culture to accept and advocate for marketing starts at the top. Understanding if marketing is worth it is only the first step in appreciating what marketing can do for your business. If you need help with marketing strategy or growth-driven design for your website, contact us for a consultation.
I’m a mom, a small business owner, and I’m a marketing professional with over a decade helping businesses with their branding and online presence. When I’m not spending time with my family or on my business, I love cooking (and eating), racquetball, yoga, and shopping. My favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Martin. My favorite movies are L.A. Story, Little Mermaid, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Trainspotting.