Sales and Marketing Strategy For Medium Sized Business

Marketing Strategy To Achieve Return On Investment

Not Just The Sprinkles On Top of Sales Plans

All businesses I meet, who contact me for advice on marketing or to invest into a marketing channel (web, social media etc.) have a genuine need to generate more business. Marketing and sales are of course the answers, that’s fundamental.

What I do find rather baffling though is how low the ‘estimate’ of marketing, as an expertise service is valued to reach turnover and growth objectives.

Accelerating Your Business

Businesses I have spoken to have invested literally £/$000s and months (if not years) into MVP models, NPD, securing VC investment, capital items, recruitment and so forth.

Then, reach out to marketing companies to get to market, to generate sales and accelerate brand awareness……

BUT at a point where they are totally spent out from the investments they have made. It appears that marketing is almost an after thought, ‘sprinkles on top of the ice cream sundae’. I am also amazed that the Investors (VC, Angel or other) continue to pour in funding without marketing being ‘part’ of the investment deck.

Factoring In Marketing To Business Plans and VC Pitches

If one is building a custom car, the engine is factored in, integrally for the design from the very start. It is the means for traction, acceleration and ‘getting there’, it needs expertise and fuel of some sort. No engine, nothing happens.

So for a business that is already operational but hoping to grow, a FinTech, Start Up, Unicorn or any other business Marketing MUST be integral to the business plan.

As a total ‘rule of thumb’ approach to get started I’d look at your turnover forecast, then factor 10-20% of that (minimum) to invest into relevant marketing. For a start up this may be nearer to 30%+ and for some companies 100% in year 1. It really depends on your business and market.

But here is the simple thing, no marketing, no business. And the more one invests (wisely) the faster one can get to market, to gain market awareness and sales, market share.

Avoid Cutting Corners On Budget

It is tempting, to ‘buy a website‘ or ‘do social media’ or frankly any other marketing yourself or on the cheap. To save ‘costs’. In my experience though, daily, I speak to companies who are having to buy 1,2,3,4….websites in the hope that ‘business will come’ and it doesn’t. The same with social media ‘it doesn’t work’ (it does).

Of course, there’s no point buying the all ‘bells and whistles’ full custom solution on day 1. Or is there?

Yes. In the case of your business the thing that you, your directors, staff, Investors all depend on, digging deep and investing to the maximum on reputable marketing is key! It is the lifeblood of your business, to feed your sales/sales team and help your business grow.

The Cherry On Top

The perspective I am giving here simplified “build in sufficient marketing budget into your Investor decks and business plan“. Your competitors are and they’re stealing your cherry on top, the best customers, the best pitches and sales turnover.

I don’t know about you but I like to savour a whole dessert. Knowing that from the bottom of the cone, to the toppings I won’t be disappointed.

And certainly when I invest in car I want the engine to run and get me to my destination….in my businesses case this means efficiently achieving ‘KPI/Objectives’ for brand, new customers, retention, revenues and margins. A happy, productive team and sustainable growth.

Marketing facilitates all that! So it should never be ‘just the ice-cream sprinkles’ but integral.

Mark Elliott – MD & Founder Sparks4Growth Marketing Agency