6 Ways to optimize your digital marketing spend

You know, Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” And that’s exactly what we’re going to address. By learning and implementing these six things, you’ll not only stretch your advertising euros but also catapult your online presence to new heights.

But before diving into the nitty-gritty, here’s a fun fact to pique your interest; did you know that global digital marketing spend is expected to reach a staggering $626 billion in 2023? That’s huge. And with the abundance of marketing channels available today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and wonder where exactly to allocate your money. Whether you’re a small business owner, a startup founder, or a seasoned marketer, squeezing the maximum value from your digital marketing budget is always a concern. In this blog post, we share 6 ways to optimize your digital marketing spend, so you can transform your campaigns into ROI-generating machines.

Set clear marketing goals and objectives

I remember this one time during a marketing conference I attended, a seasoned speaker said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” This resonated with me and reminded me of the value of setting explicit goals and objectives.

Surprisingly enough, research conducted by Smart Insights revealed that more than 50% of businesses have no clear digital marketing strategy. In a hyper-connected, technology-driven world, companies need to strategize their marketing initiatives to optimize digital marketing spend. Without a strategy, your marketing budget is really not used effectively.

With well-defined goals, businesses can fine-tune their digital marketing efforts, thus steering their resources to the most impactful channels. For instance, did you know that email marketing yields an impressive return on investment (ROI) of $42 for every dollar spent? (Yes I know, we pay in Euro’s in our part of the world, but the statistic we mentioned still holds.) Companies can leverage such insights to distribute their budget, meticulously tracking performance to ensure they’re on the path to reaching their objectives. In the end, having a clear-cut digital marketing roadmap can make a significant difference in driving growth and a higher ROI for businesses.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

Allocate your budget wisely

Another important step in maximizing your business’s online growth is to allocate your available budget wisely. As we said: way too many companies don’t have a clearly defined marketing strategy. And to avoid being part of the confusion, one key principle is to carefully assess each digital platform’s impact on your target audience. While there was a time when people believed in using every available platform, we now fully stand by the motto “quality over quantity.”

So invest in the platforms that align with your target audience’s preferences and behaviors. And please keep in mind the importance of diversifying your budget allocation. For instance, it’s crucial to balance your budget between paid advertising channels, solid SEO practices, and engaging social media content.

Data driven decision making

You’ll need to take marketing and/or sales decisions every day in your company.  Data-driven decision making is the cornerstone in optimizing digital marketing spend. By analyzing relevant and constantly changing metrics, you’ll get a view of your path towards effective and efficient digital marketing budgets. As digital marketing maestro Dan Zarrella once said, “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”

"Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed"

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, marketing without knowing the numbers is just like shooting darts in the dark. By the way, did you know that the term “digital marketing” first made its appearance on the scene in the 1990s? Fast forward to now, and it has become an indispensable tool for businesses worldwide. The insights and analytics provided by data-driven decision making empower marketers to pinpoint the efficacy of each campaign, identify areas of opportunity, and continuously finetune strategies. In the end, it ultimately translates to a higher return on investment for your business.

Targeting and segmentation

Another great way to optimize your online advertising efforts, is targeting and segmenting. By narrowing down the target audience to a specific group of individuals with shared characteristics, businesses can tailor their marketing messages to be more relevant and effective, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates. In fact, I recently came across a staggering statistic from the Direct Marketing Association which showed that segmented campaigns can yield a 760% increase in revenue. That’s right, 760%! 
Marketing segmentation statistics
As a marketer and avid traveler, I always think of segmentation as plotting the most efficient route to reach a destination. You’re not just wandering around aimlessly, but instead following a well-designed path towards success. With valuable insights drawn from user behavior, demographic data, and customer feedback, brands can create personalized digital experiences that not only resonate with their target audience but also deliver profitable results. Segmenting the market and crafting tailored messages is undoubtedly an investment that can really pay off. It allows businesses to optimize their digital marketing spend while fostering truly meaningful relationships with their target audience. 

Focus on high-performing channels

Leveraging the right channels is critical if you want to reach your target audience effectively. During the early days of our marketing agency, we were juggling between several platforms in hopes of boosting readership and lead generation. However, when we zeroed in on two channels that brought the most significant responses, we not only ended up saving time but also increased the overall engagement rate exponentially.

Just like how Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” investing in high-performing channels yields a considerable return on your digital marketing spend. A recent survey by Adobe stated that companies that focus on high-performing marketing channels get up to 28% ROI improvement compared to those who don’t. That’s the power of making informed decisions in the world of digital marketing.

A/B testing

Like my grandfather used to say: “Just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it’ll work for you, kid.” So whenever we create content,  this piece of advice is relevant when discussing the concept of A/B testing in digital marketing. Did you know that Amazon, one of the most successful e-commerce platforms globally, attributes much of its success to rigorous A/B testing? They’re not the only ones who understand its value, either.

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a powerful tool that helps you fine-tune every aspect of your campaign, by comparing two different versions at the same time. From email subject lines to web page layout and even the color of the call to action buttons, there are many thing you can split test. And the goal of this methodology is to identify which approach brings the best results. This enables marketeers to allocate their digital marketing budget more strategically and ultimately increase their return on investment. A/B testing is the perfect way to learn what works best for you so you can do more of it.

Extra: automate your marketing processes

So yeah, we’re adding an extra way to optimize your marketing spend. If you have the basics covered, you may want to automate your marketing processes. And yes, automation will definitely cost you money, we heard you a mile away. But if it’s set up the right way, it will cost you less than when you just keep on doing things manually. Trust us, we’ve tried and tested it, calculated it.

But the thing is: automation will help you scale your marketing processes in ways you could never do manually. Just the sheer volume of people you can send automated messages to, the number of automatically created tasks, automatically segmented lists… And on top of that, the amount of mistakes will be drastically reduced.

It will also help you shorten your sales cycle. So instead of spending 6 months trying to connect to the right person, setting up a meeting, following up, rescheduling etc., you may be spending only 4 months to close a deal. It doesn’t take a genius to realize how significant that is in terms of ROI for your marketing efforts as well as for your sales team. Automation is definitely something to consider if you haven’t done that yet.

There you have it: 6 (or actually 7) of the best ways we know to optimize digital marketing spend at your company. Apply these, and you’ll get more bang for your marketing buck.

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