Follow Your Heart at Your Company’s Peril

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post Blog.

Would you rather be happy?

Or would you rather be happy and rich?

This is a question all business owners should ask themselves when it comes to their marketing strategy. Because while all business owners dream of having their company’s name inextricably linked to the world’s next great marketing campaign, chasing that dream can be a nightmare.

The heart wants what it wants, but the business needs what the business needs: a precise, analytical marketing strategy that’s driven by data.

For a company in its early stages, every dollar should be treated like a bar of gold. It takes most companies several months to turn a profit, and when they do enter the black, their margins are usually razor thin. And while the precarious state of your business should not deter you from spending on advertising, it should absolutely be weighed into consideration when mapping out your marketing plan.

Prioritizing referral-tracking and lead-generation tactics over “vanity” marketing (such as flashy commercials with high-paid actors) can help you stretch your marketing budget and achieve top return on your investment. These tactics include conversion tracking, search engine optimization and retargeting; but really, they encompass anything that’s cost-efficient and singles out consumers who have indicated their interest in something your business offers.

The beauty of a web-based, data-driven approach is that it can be adjusted on the fly. Keywords and retargeting ads can be swapped out or cleaned up in a matter of hours, if not minutes. This is a luxury that global brands like Arby’s or Nike do not enjoy when launching one of their creatively charged campaigns.

If consumers don’t respond well to a campaign like “Arby’s: We Have the Meats”, there’s little the brand can do to stop the bleeding. Between media buys and creative manpower, millions of dollars may have been spent on the campaign and pulling the plug would be akin to lighting the money on fire.

While small businesses operate on a much different scale than global brands, it underscores the risk of running a campaign that’s rooted in creative flair instead of analytical reasoning. Once your business has grown to the point where you can afford to take risks, do so to your heart’s content. Until then, give your brain the benefit of the doubt. Your heart might feel broken – but it will bounce back when it sees your business is thriving.

At Rebuild Nation, we’ve helped countless small businesses achieve a 4:1 ROI through cost-effective, risk-averse marketing strategies that result in customer acquisition. We’re able to maximize results by tracking every dollar our clients spend and reallocating their budgets on the fly to ensure that not a penny goes to waste.

To learn more about our process, send us a note at info@rebuildnation.com or give us a call at 855-725-3628.