How to Scale a Marketing Strategy That Works
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Marketers are experimenters. We have to be. Some marketing strategies simply don’t work because of bad audience targeting, excessive competition, cost/reward imbalances or other issues. It’s our job to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
When we figure out that a strategy simply isn’t working, our job is simple: Change the variables to try and make it work or discard it entirely. But what happens when we find out that a strategy is working?
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The most straightforward option is to maintain the status quo, repeating the process as consistently as possible to continue seeing the benefits. But if you want to keep pushing for better results and improve outcomes for your business, it’s important to scale that marketing strategy somehow, increasing its effectiveness and giving it greater influence.
How can you scale a marketing strategy effectively?
Let’s start by looking at some of the core options you have for scaling and marketing strategy.
- Invest more money. First, you could consider spending more money on the strategy itself. This can manifest in any number of different ways, depending on the type of marketing you’re pursuing. For example, if you spent $1,000 to print 2,000 copies of a flyer and that flyer was highly effective, you might spend $5,000 on the next round of printing to get 20,000 copies of that flyer. In SEO, you might spend more money on link building or content development. In PPC advertising, you might increase your bids and overall budget.
- Conquer new territory. Another option is to conquer new territory — contending with some of your top competitors, changing your geographic location or placing your ads in new areas. For example, if you’re used to competing only with businesses in your current city, you might expand to start advertising for the entire state. If your ad only ran on one podcast, you might consider running it with several other related podcasts.
- Expand to new audiences. Some marketers expand their strategy by trying to target new audiences. Chances are, your strategy worked in part because it was designed to be highly relevant to one specific niche. Can you make adjustments so that your strategy applies to new niches entirely?
Effective marketing strategy scaling
Regardless of if you take one of these routes, all of them or some other route you created for yourself, these are the most important strategies you have for making your marketing scaling effective:
- Scale gradually (when possible). For the most part, it’s better to scale gradually. You don’t know for a fact that your results are going to continue, and venturing into uncharted marketing territory is always a risk. Don’t hemorrhage all your marketing dollars on an uncertain strategy; increase your efforts one step at a time.
- Do your market and competitive research upfront. If you’re trying to reach a new geographic location or a new target audience, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Do all your market research and competitive research front so you have a much better understanding of the contextual environment you’re about to enter.
- Keep your processes consistent. It’s easy for marketing strategies to become loose and uncoordinated when more people are working on them or when you’re applying them to new contexts. Don’t lose sight of the principles that made this strategy successful in the first place. Keep all your processes consistent and formally documented.
- Hire professional help when possible. If you have a small- to mid-sized business, you may not have the internal resources necessary to scale this strategy effectively. Accordingly, you should consider hiring outside professional help. Hiring a professional marketing agency, a team of contractors or new members of your marketing team could be exactly what you need to see ideal results.
- Be cautious with repetition. Seeing excellent results from an advertisement or a new piece of marketing collateral might motivate you to repeat your approach exactly. But you should also be cautious with repetition. Repeating your message is a great way to make it stick, but it’s also a great way to annoy people if you aren’t careful. Don’t overwhelm your customers.
- Keep a close eye on your ROI. Throughout the entirety of your scaling operation, keep a close eye on your return on investment (ROI) and see if it goes through any changes. Are you getting as much value as you expected? If not, why? This is usually a sign that something critical changed when your strategy began to expand; see if you can find the discrepancy and eliminate it moving forward.
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Scaling a marketing strategy isn’t always straightforward, and it isn’t always guaranteed to work. But if you recognize the key challenges and remain cautious but ambitious, you’ll have a much higher chance of success.