Nike reputedly spends a nine-figure sum annually on sponsorship and marketing. Their shareholders don’t pay for it; those that buy their products do. What, they chorus, has that got to do with us? Well, plenty, as it happens.
If you don’t want to increase sales, develop leads, have good attendance at your events or response to your messages, with the best will in the world, there really isn’t much point in discussing marketing. But if you do want any or all of these, then there most certainly is.
You needn’t be Nike to realise that if done well, marketing is a very good investment. On the simple premise that customers will only buy if you tell them you’ve something to sell, it all starts to make sense. ‘Build it and they will come’ goes the mantra. Very true, but only if you tell them you built it.
You need something to invest in order to make an investment. In other words, you will need some sort of a budget. Sure, you can go down the social-media-only route and hope that you’ve discovered a trick that grabs people’s attention that the other billion or so others haven’t, or you can invest a modest budget wisely, and then increase it sensibly once you start seeing a return on it.
So if you thought that marketing was for other organisations, didn’t achieve much and even if it did, it was beyond your financial reach, then think again. You can really only make a judgement on how beneficial a quality marketing campaign is when you’re running one. Make the call.