Where should your marketing dollars go?

New communication technologies, coupled with the Internet and mixed with changing consumer behavior, have disrupted business processes. Better mobile phones and new devices like iPads provide instant access to information. Online sites like Facebook, with 13.5 million active Canadian users (500 million worldwide), as well as Twitter and LinkedIn, are changing our habits and how we share information. As soon as the habits of prospective customers change, businesses have no choice but to change marketing methods or become quickly irrelevant.

We are currently in a marketing transition period and there is no clear road ahead. Becoming strategic in how you spend your marketing budget is even more vital. So, during this transition, how should you allocate your marketing dollars? Successful businesses measure the effectiveness of their marketing, eliminate what doesn't work and reallocate funds to other methods.

Not sure where to shift your marketing dollars?

Ask your existing customers what the best way to reach them is, then shift your focus there. Newspapers, Facebook, WagJag, direct mail, eNewsletters, it doesn’t matter as long as your target audience is there. This approach also trains you to stop focusing on what you think works and discover what your clients actually prefer.

How many of your prospects research online before buying? Are they buying more online? Do they ask others before they make a decision and if so how? Once you discover their new habits create a plan to test these new vehicles. If you are not sure how some of these tools work, hire someone that does. Measure, adjust, try again.

Those companies that find the right combination sooner will gain a head start in this new accelerated reality. Waiting to act will put you at a disadvantage. The world of Internet marketing continues to change. The market now belongs to the agile and those willing to try new tools. It's a brave new world, alright, and it's exciting.