February 2018
The Value of Investment

Jeffrey Spear - President, Studio Spear

Jeff Spear

Just about every brand owner would like to see his or her brand generate greater returns on investment. While this is typically measured in terms of increased sales, it could also be analyzed in terms of marketing impact.


Whether your metric is successful penetration into new markets, increased penetration within existing markets, improved brand recall, increased numbers of inquiries, or even a greater number of brand advocates, these increases are great news and very good for the bottom line.

Every now and then, however, we encounter brand owners who say they want to achieve these goals but are unwilling to make appropriate investments and/or adjust their marketing practices to achieve them.

In marketing terms, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with an expectation that outcomes will be different. For those brand owners who wish to increase marketshare and sales without increased levels of investment are... well... insane.

Of course, you could stick to existing budgets and divert funds to new initiatives. The problem is that, while you cannibalize your budget and a few of your established marketing outreach programs to pursue new opportunities, you risk losing the momentum you have achieved in previously established markets. While you could realize new activity and growth in one area, you may also see declining activity in another - effectively a no-growth scenario.

When it comes to investment, the issue is one of competitive pressure. If your closest rivals are investing heavily in brand promotion through marketing tactics such as advertising, sponsorships, social media, special events, in-store promotions, etc., and it's your desire to position your own brand ahead of theirs, you will probably need to invest similarly. This is certainly the situation in alcoholic beverages where competition is huge and marketing budgets regularly exceed 10% of gross revenue.

No matter the economic outlook, increasing investments is not something brand owners are eager to do. The prudent first step is to measure the success of your existing marketing activities - finding out if your investments are generating reasonable returns. If the benefits do not adequately align with the investments, it's probably time to do a little homework and regroup.

Start with a brand audit and competitive landscape evaluation. Find out just how well your existing tactics are working, confirm key buyers and competitors, and make comparisons. The outcomes could lead you to adjust your marketing plan, launch new campaigns, make a better offer, or perhaps even revitalize your brand image.

Whatever you do, sitting still is not the answer. There's a saying "Even if you are on the right track, if you sit still long enough, a train will eventually run you over."

If you want your brand to be even more vital, there is plenty you can do. A little research along with a more strategic creative approach tied to increased investments may be just what you need.


If the time has come to overhaul, update and re-invigorate your brand image, or you'd like to change up your marketing program, please call 904 685 2135 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email: jeff@studiospear.com.

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