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MBPT Spotlight: Where to Spend Your Marketing Budget in 2015

Allocating your marketing budget is never an easy task and in the fast-paced digital landscape, companies need to stay relevant in order to build customer relationships and generate revenue. An effective marketing budget means you can properly invest in a variety of integrated communication efforts.

According to Gartner Research, the top three challenges in marketing are: growing profitable revenue, connecting with customers and keeping up with the competition. Here are six marketing spends to consider for 2015 that answer these challenges and maximize company revenue.

1. Market Research

Investing in research is the key to creating effective content that will drive sales. Whether it’s the media habits of your target audience, the latest trends in the ever-changing digital realm or identifying new opportunities or threats to your business, effective market research will keep your team informed and your content relatable.

Creating effective messages comes from market insights, which comes from research. Investing in your research is an investment in your content.

2. Mobile-Optimization

A study by eMarketer documented spending during the 2013 holiday season. It found that users spent an average of $250 on purchases using their smartphone. In the digital economy, customers are now using smartphones and tablets more than their laptops and desktops, and companies need to be mindful of maintaining a pleasing user experience across devices.

This means taking the time to invest in Web interfaces that are just as easy to navigate on mobile screens as on a PC monitor. A difficult mobile website may deter users from visiting your website again, but investing in a well-designed one will maintain your company’s online image and create an experience that will encourage users to return the next time they shop online.

3. Professional Lead Generation

One of the most effective and sustainable sources of revenue is lead generation. Unfortunately, there is a lot of clutter to sift through, and locating the truly profitable leads is a difficult task. Companies need to have a high number of leads, as well as high-quality ones that will bring closing sales.

Services such as IntelliConnection help companies generate a great number of leads, sifting for the ones that will lead to sales and managing the sustainability. Investing in a service that generates leads allows your team more time to connect with these leads, close sales and optimize your marketing team’s efficiency.

4. Training

Even with the right resources and strategy, the people who execute a marketing plan make a great difference in its success, for better or worse. This is why investing in proper training for employees is worthwhile. A well-trained staff can become a cohesive team that creates high-quality content and sets a high bar for the work your company produces.

5. Social Media

As has become evident, social media is the driving force behind connecting with customers. Establishing a presence across multiple platforms is crucial to meet users and engage with them in the areas they engage with others. Building a relationship with each customer is a highly effective way to generate positive brand attitudes—and sales.

Harris Interactive found that 68% of millennials are at least “somewhat likely” to make a purchase decision based on what their friends share on social media. If you can engage with users online, you not only build relationships but you generating additional revenues.

6. Contingency Fund

Finally, a worthwhile investment for 2015 is a contingency plan for trends and unpredicted market changes. In the past year, a simple app called Snapchat has exploded in popularity to become a viable marketing medium. In order to remain relevant, it is wise to set aside some funds to be ready to adapt a new social app or recalibrate with a shift in the market.

A study from IBM found that 71% of 524 CMOs felt “unprepared to deal with the data explosion” in the digital realm. Setting aside funds for a contingency plan is like buying insurance against what promises to be another exciting year in the digital economy.

IntelliConnection is a full service sales solutions company that specializes in lead generation and revenue opportunities for businesses; its list of clients includes Coca-Cola, Target and KeyBank.