A certain amount of homework has to be done in order to get the answer to this!
Return on Investment
Any activity, online or offline has an associated cost. This has to be weighed up against the results. You may get on really well with the editor of ‘The Horse and Hound’ but how many times has the phone rung because of it?!
In order to work out what you can cut, you need to look at each activity you undertake. Ensure that it is being measured. If it isn’t start now. For example, in your ads, you can use links, codes or dedicated phone numbers so you know where the enquiries are being driven from.
With the help of Google Analytics, it is relatively simple to see where your online traffic is coming from. For those more digitally adventurous among us, there are great free tools for tracking specific campaigns, give them a try.
Conferences and events are also simple to measure but don’t forget to count the cost of your attendance in hours and the branded merchandise you are giving away.
Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule. Some things that can’t be measured and that divide opinion. Like brand awareness. For example, sponsoring a school fair or a firework display. Think about measuring more general metrics during the time that these activities have been taking place in comparison to when they haven’t. For example, measure direct website traffic (when the user actually searches for your company name).
Is this the right question?
I am obviously biased, but in truth it makes more sense to increase your marketing spend and decrease your sales team spend. Great marketing means your leads will be better qualified before they reach your sales team. So, you will need less sales people to convert them!