When it comes to your company’s budget, how much does your management company spend on marketing? Many management companies think they are spending zero dollars on marketing. If you are among those, you may be thinking about marketing all wrong.
Not only that, but you may be missing out on tax-saving opportunities since marketing expenses can be tax-deductible. Let’s take a look at the things you may already be paying for that should be classified under marketing expenses.
Most management companies equate advertising with marketing. While it is true that advertising is a part of marketing, it is not the only marketing element in your budget. But, it is the most obvious.
Advertising can include multiple elements:
- Print Advertising – which can include any location where you have paid to have your name printed for outreach to boards. So for example, if you are paying membership fees to your local CAI chapter in order to get your company information included in their annual directory, that is advertising, and it belongs in your marketing budget.
- Web Advertising – includes any digital location where you have paid for the placement of an advertisement, such as a provider listing, or a banner in a local publication’s website or email newsletter. Another form of web advertising occurs when you publish your name in an online publication manually. For example, if you are a member of a private forum, and you post comments in response to readers in order to share your company information in your signature, that is a form of web advertising.
- CPC/CPI Ads – While you might technically think of this as web advertising too, it is different enough to warrant it’s own category. CPC stands for Cost Per Click, meaning you pay when someone clicks on your ad, and CPI stands for Cost Per Impression, meaning you pay when your ad is displayed. The most prolific example of these types of ads are Google Ads, but you may also see it in Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yahoo/Bing.
Your website and other digital properties, such as your Facebook page, You Tube channel, Linked In company page, etc are all digital representatives of your brand, and therefore fall under the marketing umbrella.
- Website – The website has a variety of fees that you are probably paying every single month, all of which are considered part of marketing in your budget. These would include website development, whether you are paying for it externally, or if you have someone internal doing the work. But that is just the first step. If you are paying for website hosting, email hosting, Domain name registrations, SSL certificates, website scanners or firewalls, or any other property that facilitates the running of your company website, those are marketing expenses. Remember your website is the primary digital representative of your brand and your email is your primary method of communicating your brand messaging – that is marketing!
- Social Media – While you may not be paying for your company social media accounts, any time or money spent developing and posting content on social media platforms is absolutely a marketing expense. But what you may not have considered are any profiles you are paying for to manage your brand’s reputation. Yelp for example, requires a paid profile just to display your website address on your profile page. That is marketing dollars at work for you.
Many management companies attend industry events to promote their services. You may be thinking of this as sales, but sales and marketing are very closely linked, and if it is an expense you paid to get a lead to sell to, that is not sales, it’s marketing.
- Trade Shows – the most common ways that management companies outreach to a larger area to find new leads. If you are attending industry trade shows to get a pile of business cards, that is marketing.
- Community Events – many management companies sponsor fundraising events, such as golf days, charity galas and other events that support the community. Even when you are doing it for a good cause, it is still promoting your brand – that is marketing!
- Swag – For every event you attend, you should include the cost of your booth or table or membership, along with any swag you printed, your banners, tablecloths, and even the fishbowl itself! It’s all marketing.
Any type of outreach can be considered marketing if it’s intent is to facilitate a sale. That can include attracting new leads, pursuing the sales process, or even outreach to existing clients to foster retention.
- Newsletters – If you send out a monthly newsletter to your clients and prospects, that is very much a marketing expense.
- Board Welcome Emails – nurturing new board members with welcome emails is a great marketing technique to retain clients. After all, it’s not the board that hired you that winds up firing you.
- Announcements – Sending out emails to your prospects and clients when you have new technology, new hires, or just news in general is a marketing tactic that helps keep your brand top of mind.
When you add up all the things you are already doing that contribute to marketing, your marketing budget is probably quite a bit larger than you knew. While this is helpful to know during tax season, it also should be food for thought. How much does your management company really spend on marketing? And is it working? If you would like to take action to ensure that your marketing budget is fulfilling its purpose to help grow your business, contact us today for a free 30-min consultation.