We are Boutique

Where Should You Invest Your Marketing Spend?

Posted In: Hidden by Dan Howard,
July 17, 2018


With an ever-growing number of communication channels, it’s easy to get lost on prioritising where to invest your marketing spend. Equally, knowing the role of each channel and when to make step-changes in your marketing investment from one channel to the next, can be daunting.


We use a “3H” model (Hygiene, Hub and Hero) to help clients understand the role of each channel and identify the range of platforms available, prioritising against individual needs to meet marketing objectives and providing a framework for step-changes in investment.


The 3H model is an evolution of Google’s recommended Youtube strategy, expanded and applied across marketing channels using the same simple, tiered process.


We’re sharing our version of the model here today to help you assess whether you have focused your marketing resources in the right areas, at the right time and ensure that all activity ties together appropriately. Importantly it will also allow you to assess whether you’re set up for success, especially if preparing for increased investment in any given marketing channel.





A core challenge for brands in a modern world lies in building trust, resonance and engagement. In addition, identifying and maximising the opportunity that exists from low hanging fruit is the most pertinent starting point for brands when looking to invest in marketing.


Hygiene factors are those elements we think are essential to ensure a positive brand experience when someone finds your brand. They are areas of investment in ‘always on’ channels that feed ongoing commercial returns. Consider this element ‘housekeeping’. This tends to be the starting point for investment.


Importantly, before investing in Hub and Hero activity we will always ensure a client is appropriately structured and investing accordingly in these Hygiene elements. This will ensure maximum return from future investment.


Whilst not completely comprehensive, this gives a guide to the elements of Hygiene services we assess when auditing a client’s Hygiene activity:

Initial questions to consider:


• Are my owned channels aligned, with a consistent tone of voice?

• Am I maximising the opportunities that exist from the low hanging fruit of people looking for my brand, my competitors or services/products we sell?

• Do I have a clear understanding of what our customers want when they engage with our brand across our marketing channels?

• Am I fully protecting my brand online from the competitors?





Once we’re confident that a brand has its Hygiene elements in place, we guide on the next step to investment. At this stage, Hub activity is about engaging an audience and sparking a connection with your brand. With investment in the Hub stage we are looking to increase marketing investment and in turn drive increased volumes, sales, engagements and equity.


Often, Hub activity is campaign or seasonal focused where investment will see incremental ROI.


Services most often considered at this stage include:



As well as extended paid digital spend:



Smaller scale media spend activity questions to consider at this stage:


• Am I maximising the opportunity from paid search?

• Are there quick wins that will provide a guaranteed return on investment?

• Am I visible where my customers look for my product or service?

• What marketing initiatives do my competitors undertake?





Hero activity is used to increase share of voice, drive brand engagement, endorsement and equity, building reach and frequency which in turn drives customers through the journey to purchase; Awareness – consideration – conversion.


Investment in Hero activity is intended to change the business dynamic and shift the dial on commercial revenue.


We only ever recommend Hero activity is undertaken once all Hygiene elements are in place and performing to the best of their ability. It is also important to understand whether the lower investment activity associated with Hub has been explored.


Hero activity is most often – though not always – focused on multi-channel paid campaigns:


To assess your investment in Hero activity, start with these questions:

• Am I investing in areas that marry with my customers’ route to purchase?

• Have I set very clear KPI expectations and proof checked these in a robust manner?

• What can I learn from my competitors?

• Am I absolutely clear on the audience I am intending to reach?

• When we drive response, are all our channels aligned with one consistent message?

• Have I established measures prior to the commencement of my campaign?

• Am I achieving value for money?


In Summary


It is important to recognise that the stages and areas of investment are tweaked and developed bespoke to our clients’ needs. In some instances, starting with Hygiene activity isn’t the best strategic approach. There are examples where brands may need to start with high level Hero investment to gain share of voice and recognition to ensure Hygiene factors such as investment in paid search are fruitful. Highly competitive markets may require Hero activity to launch whilst spend in others may never need exceed the Hygiene levels to achieve their marketing and business objectives.


Importantly, it demonstrates that all marketing initiatives need to be interlinked. Further, it highlights that channels are multi-faceted and can play a variety of roles to meet your marketing objectives.


As a channel-neutral agency working across paid, owned and earned media with core disciplines in media buying and planning, digital marketing and PR, we are best placed to guide clients on the most appropriate areas for investment. Our expertise in each area allows us to help clients find, engage, convert and retain their customers, with efficient and effective strategies that meet their business objectives at the lowest cost.


Our core strength lies in guiding clients on where best to invest their marketing spend to meet their business objectives. To find out more about how we can help you, drop us a line.



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