Based in Chorley, Tall Zebra Designs is a web design and digital marketing agency who, like many others, have experienced the current pressures of 2022.
Based on concerns of the current economy state, they feel multiple business owners across the UK are at risk of distress and worst. Witnessing many business owners and managers rethink their finances and create cuts in order to streamline outgoings, they have decided to take action.
Tall zebra’s creative director, Alex Chadwick, explains “The main problem is that many businesses are making ‘panic cuts’ to their marketing budgets when in reality they really need exposure and advertising more than ever to help them ride the storm…”
Business owners may see Google Ad’s, social campaigns, and PPC not performing as well as they used to and dismiss them as redundant. However, incoming leads are slower for lots of businesses right now, but it’s not due to campaign quality, it’s because fewer people are prepared to spend right now. So, that means, in order to generate a steady workflow during these uncertain times, businesses marketing budgets, at the very least need to remain the same and increased where possible. Right now, businesses need to ensure their potential client pool is larger than ever before in order to be seen by more people who are willing to purchase. The more people who can find their products or services, the more chance they have of gaining a lead or a sale.
Tall Zebra Designs researched the advised amount for new businesses to allocate to marketing. They found that it’s suggested to be between 12-20% of their gross revenue, while for established companies who already have a presence and existing customer base, its recommended to spend between 6-12% on their marketing budget. However, during these uncertain times, Tall zebra think it’s more realistic for all business types to aim for 20% to gain as much exposure as possible. They have first-hand experience and data to support how much it can pay off and help businesses stay afloat and remain profitable during these financially uncertain times.
They also are giving businesses several critical pieces of free advice and recommendations to help them achieve the most out of their marketing budget right now:
Say no to boosted posts
Tall Zebra is advising against boosted posts on social media platforms, all social advertising need to be specifically targeted to each individual business’s demographic. Boosted posts just fire out content to everyone and anyone meaning most of the spend will be wasted.
Right now, it’s vital that businesses are making full use of the resources they already have. Website SEO needs to be on point so potential customers can find services and products organically on Google. All Google ads need to have a score of ‘Excellent’ and be optimised. If businesses are not managing their own Google ads account, they need to be asking for access and looking at the data. Tall Zebra give their clients full access to Google Ad accounts and provide ‘no fluff’ reports showing exactly where and how client budget is being spent and how much return they are gaining.
Businesses shouldn’t go crazy with discounts
The Lancashire based digital agency are advising for businesses to go easy on promotions and discounts, explaining they should be saved for special occasions. Although it may be tempting to offer frequent discounts as it generates sales, and instant gratification, it will also cheapen the reputation of many brands. The more sales a business offers, the more potential customers will hold out from purchasing, until the next sale is offered which ultimately has a negative effect on the overall business.
Utilize free online tools
HubSpot is a firm favourite for Tall Zebra and they believe it is a hugely underrated tool that many businesses are not aware of. Tall Zebra ‘s Alex explains “We manage lots of our client’s accounts here and gain so much indispensable information from it. You can connect all campaigns to it and monitor all leads, this allows you to see exactly how much return you’re making a client on your marketing efforts.” Hubspot also have lots of great downloadable templates to help businesses manage their marketing budget.
Don’t spend less; spend smart
Business owners should calculate honest figures for themselves, looking at how much their time costs per hour, how much time they spend trying to generate organic traffic on social media and how much return they get from their efforts. They can use this figure to see if it would be more appropriate to pay a third-party (like us) to manage their socials instead and increase business return. Sometimes it’s not about spending less, it’s about spending smart. If you can spend the same or slightly more and see much better results, and save yourself time, then it’s worth making the change.
Play to your strengths
In a normal climate Tall Zebra Designs are all about exploring the market and taking risks but advise that right now isn’t really the best time to experiment. Rather than spending budgets on spontaneous marketing campaigns, the latest trends, or new areas of marketing that unfamiliar, businesses need stick to what they know works and expand on the types of campaigns they have previously gained positive data from.
Speaking of data…
Tall Zebra Designs cannot stress enough the importance of collecting as much data as possible. By surveying customers and prospective clients, businesses can really gain a better understanding of their own business, products and services. Businesses need to integrate short questionnaires (for free) into their correspondence with customers or make courtesy calls, follow-up emails, and review links apart of daily processes, if they’re not in place already. The more feedback, the more improvements can be made, and ultimately more sales.
Tall Zebra Designs incorporate all advice offered in this article into their own practices with their own clients to ensure their services are cost effective and results focused.
They believe with the correct marketing plan, budget and support in place, work can remain steady, if not flowing during these times of financial uncertainty.
If you’d like business specific advice and are interested in Tall Zebra’s services then you can speak to them directly with a free of charge discovery call.