21 February 2023

Where should you focus your marketing budget in 2023? Here’s how to decide


Where should you focus your marketing efforts in 2023? What investments in marketing will have the most impact for your business?

One of the reasons business owners can struggle with marketing is that they rush into choosing between tactics before understanding what marketing is really all about. And what you need in place to do it well.

So if you’re scratching your head trying to work out what to focus on, this post will help.

We’re going to start by looking at the four fundamental components of any marketing strategy - we call this our Marketing 360 framework. 

Then we’ll help you understand which of these four components you need to focus on to maximise the impact of your marketing investment.

The four components of any successful marketing strategy

We break marketing down into four key areas:

  • Define - know what your potential customers look like and what your product or service can do for them
  • Find - Identify ways to target them based on their behaviours and habits
  • Win - Devise strategies to close sales and create customers
  • Keep - Monitor customer churn (loss) and create retention activities to remedy it

Any marketing activity that you can name - from choosing a CRM through to designing a new logo - falls into one of these four categories. And within each of the four pillars, there are another four discrete activities.

You can see these broken down below. 

Marketing 360 Framework

Being able to see all of the different marketing activities in one place is the first step in understanding what marketing is really all about. When you look at it in this way, you can see that marketing isn’t just ‘generating leads’ or ‘designing a logo’. It’s a broad range of activities that work together to help your business grow.

Now that we understand what you could focus on, let’s look at what you should focus on. For this, we’re going to employ our Marketing 360 Assessment

What’s the Marketing 360 Assessment and how can it help you?

The Marketing 360 Assessment scores you on every aspect of your marketing, from branding right the way through to customer retention. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and all you have to do is answer a series of questions covering every aspect of your marketing. In return, you’ll get a personalised report breaking down what’s going well and where you can improve. 

For instance, your business might get a great score for ‘Brand’ if you have a set of distinctive and attractive brand assets that are consistently used across all channels. 

But you might score poorly on leads if you’re not able to generate genuine opportunities through your marketing or measure pipeline performance. 

In this case, it would be a good idea to forward these results on to your team and ask them to put together a plan for how to improve:

  • Lead volume
  • Targeting
  • Pipeline visibility
  • Conversion rate measurement
  • Customer experience at first contact

The Marketing 360 also helps you visualise performance by placing the scores for each area of marketing alongside one another and colour-coding them. Let’s say that you completed the questionnaire and got these results.

Marketing 360 Traffic light scores

You now know that the areas marked in red are priority areas to focus on in 2023.

You can then refer to each section in the report to get more information and advice. We’ve also included links in the report to even more content on our website that will help you improve your performance in this area.

It’s worth noting that like any assessment tool, the results will always reflect what you put in. So if you want a less subjective appraisal, it’s worth getting multiple people from within your company to complete the assessment so you can compare results. 

What results do other businesses get?

Every business owner wants to hear what other businesses are doing well and struggling with. Over 1,800 business owners have completed our assessment since we launched it last year. So which aspects of marketing do people struggle with most - and do the best at?

Marketing metrics consistently come out as the number one challenge for business owners. Businesses struggle with measuring the cost of winning new customers, ensuring their marketing budget aligns with their objectives and understanding the overall ROI of their marketing efforts.

Lead generation is in second place, which is interesting because for most of the business owners we speak to, this is their number one priority. Developing and executing marketing plans was the third biggest challenge.

Want to see how you compare with this data? Take 10 minutes to find now

Get a detailed analysis of your marketing

The Marketing 360 Assessment is a quick and easy way to identify your general strengths, weaknesses and priorities. Over 1,800 people have already completed and got value from it. But if you want an in-depth analysis and a solid marketing plan that you can use to make better decisions about where to focus your efforts in 2023, you’re going to need the help of a proven marketing leader.

We’re offering a free one-hour consultation with our experienced Marketing Directors to help you understand your results and prioritise next steps. Get in touch to arrange a time to chat with our team using the button below.

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