By Sophie Barrington
Founder, Archer Creative
“What’s your marketing budget?” Alas, everyone’s favourite question — and one that, inevitably, arises in every conversation I have with a new client. But, too often, it’s a question that’s answered with hesitation, reservation and doubt.
Imagine I’m sitting across from you. Over the course of the past hour, we’ve been deeply immersed in discussion about your equine business. I’ve come to learn how your background, talents and business acumen have enabled you to bring a new product or service to the market.
In return, I’ve shared my expertise on branding, marketing strategy and the tactics that will drive sales. You’re feeling charged, motivated and ready to take it on. Then, I turn to you and ask: “So, what’s your marketing budget?” And to this you reply: “I don’t have one.”
As an equine marketer and the founder of Archer Creative, I’ve had hundreds of conversations like the one above. If I could count how many times I’ve heard this response over the past five years, I’d tell you that I ran out of fingers to count on a long time ago.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m an equine business owner myself. I’m acutely aware of the commitment, sacrifice and cold hard cash it takes to run a successful business. Just like my clients, I too have considered the question ‘Can I afford to market my equine business?’
But, the better question is ‘Can I afford not to?’
More Than Money
Marketing is an investment. Returning back to our conversation, marketing requires the same level of research, energy and resources that are put into your product or service. Without marketing, your product has little to no chance of leaving the warehouse floor.
Marketing requires a place within your annual budget, with flexibility to accommodate for periods of shortfall. It’s a reality in business that you’ll experience challenges, expected or unexpected, but this doesn’t mean marketing should be abandoned altogether.
Instead, marketing must continue — and for one important reason. Equine companies that continue investing in their marketing when the industry at large is spending less will emerge stronger than before and well ahead of their competitors.
Wherever you are in business, marketing matters.
- Start Up Phase: In the beginning stage of business, it can be tempting to remain conservative, but this period of time is invaluable for gaining market share and promoting your point of difference with a robust marketing budget.
- Growth Phase: Following a successful launch, you’ve learned what works and what doesn’t for your equine business. Now, it’s time to implement this learning with a long-term marketing budget that continues to drive your business growth.
- Expansion Phase: With an established equine business, you’re seeking growth into new markets. An increased marketing budget, which integrates new advertising channels, will assist you in successfully saturating the market.
- Maturity Phase: It’s not time just yet to fold your arms behind your head and put your feet up. Only with ongoing marketing can you can continue to retain market share, but now you have the advantage of brand recognition.
Looking for some outside support? Don’t wait for success, create it — with the experts in equine marketing, Archer Creative. To learn more about how we can help you exceed your growth goals in 2018, call us on 1300 077 126 or visit www.archercreative.net.au.