Hitting The Mark

How to Manage Your Marketing Portfolio Like An Investment Portfolio

With the proliferation of marketing channels available today, choosing the right channels and tracking results can present a challenge. Some companies choose to stick with traditional mediums like print and radio while more ride the wave of digital marketing. The vast majority of marketers today, however, are realizing that a combination of both modalities may serve their clients best, adopting an optimal “investment portfolio” approach to the challenge.

We find the investment portfolio strategy idea intriguing, and the parallels to managing the marketing mix quite interesting, so we’re spotlighting some best practice fundamentals, from Daniel Clay’s LinkedIn post, that make sense in both worlds:

  • Planning is everything
  • Choose the right strategy for your goals and current situation
  • Different tools accomplish different things, and should be measured differently
  • Rebalance often to keep your strategy on track
  • Be disciplined
  • It takes time
  • Understand your available options so you can make informed decisions independent of outside parties

Clay contends that planning ahead is critical. “It’s important to build a plan, execute it, and track and measure results along the way,” he says. “Just like you set goals for your investment portfolio, setting goals for your marketing plan helps you track progress.”

Tools are also key. “Create models that help you understand the relationship between channel vehicles and the additional value derived by integrating channels. One approach to creating a model that reflects multiple channels is to structure your data as you would your investment portfolio. In this approach each investment and the entire portfolio is built for the purpose of creating value and reducing risk,” says Laura Patterson on LinkedIn.

Be patient. Just like you track the long term performance of a given stock before deciding to sell, you also need to give each marketing channel a significant amount of time before deciding whether it is worth the investment.

And remember that communication tools work harmoniously to build a whole that is greater than the individual parts.