As brands develop strategies for their 2009 marketing budgets, determining the correct mix of traditional and interactive is often a challenging task. The following steps can help you ensure you identify the best mix for your brand. First, step back and take a look at the big picture. You should address key questions regarding marketing for your brand, including:
- What are your goals - are you seeking to develop your brand, generate leads, increase online and/or offline sales, or increase customer retention?
- What are your expectations - how can you apply metrics to your goals and what accomplishment equals success?
- Who is your target audience, and where have you historically reached that audience?
The answers to the above questions will help you determine potential channels (online and offline) for your marketing efforts. Once you have determined the potential channels, you should prioritize those channels to emphasize as part of your strategy. Look at the results from previous marketing programs; some channels may be able to reach your customers but perhaps are providing diminishing returns while others are providing a consistent or increasing return on investment. There may be benefits to maintaining a presence in those channels that are not providing the highest return, but those channels should not be a heavy focus of your budget. Keep in mind that return does not always mean direct revenue - your goals determine the best metric for ROI.
Depending upon the level of experience your brand has in interactive, you may not know the answers to all the questions above. Once you have considered the questions, and answered what you can, discuss your goals with your interactive agency partner. Tell them what you have observed and what you would like to do. Your agency can provide additional insight based on its own experience, including information on the latest trends in online behavior for your target audience, what interactive channels can best help you reach your goals, and how to interpret results from previous marketing efforts. Together you can determine the right mix of your budget to commit to interactive.