Marketing Waste: When To Stop

December 10, 2007 by

This is part 4 of a 4 part series on using your marketing budget effectively. You can read the original post to get a better understanding of Tim’s money-saving advice.

We’ve begun to looking at ways to stop wasting money on marketing. Step one taught us to “Establish a measurable indicator for every marketing effort.” Step two taught us to “Run a small marketing effort to determine your cost per conversion.”

Step 3: Know when to stop.

One common way churches waste money on marketing is by believing that a successful marketing effort will continue to be successful forever. Knowing and continually tracking your cost per conversion (see step two) will help you avoid this costly mistake.

Many marketing efforts will lose effectiveness over time. Consider web site banner ads, for example. I have a lot of experience here because I run a lot of banner ads for our company’s content management system. When my ads first go live, I generate a lot of interest from the visitors of the site. But once I have saturated that group of visitors, my ads will get less and less interest.

When you track your cost per conversion at regular intervals (monthly is often a good benchmark for online ads), you will start to see trends in your marketing performance. As cost per conversion goes up (more expensive), you are losing effectiveness, and it might be time to divert your marketing dollars to another web site or another marketing effort.

Of course, you can always revisit a marketing effort later. When I use online ads, I generally track them on a particular site until they lose effectiveness, then take them down and wait a few months. After a few months, I might try that same site again, but I will start over with another test campaign to see if enough new visitors have come to the site to make it worth the effort.

So remember:

  1. Establish a measurable indicator for every marketing effort.
  2. Run a small marketing effort to determine your cost per conversion.
  3. Know when to stop.

If you will employ the principles in these three steps, you can stop wasting money on marketing and start spending your money in smarter, more targeted ways.

Post By:

Tim Wall

Tim Wall used to be a full-time pastor of technology, communications and what not. Now he leads worship at his church, he blogs (sometimes), and he also works for Element Fusion, a company that builds web-based software products like Sky and Light.
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