How much of your marketing budget is wasted?

For many of us the new financial year starts in April and in the period January to March we turn our attention to business planning. How many of us look back and really scrutinise the previous year and use the learnings to influence our future plans? Instead, it is not uncommon for Senior Managers to start their planning with the same spreadsheet from the previous year and just edit some of the numbers. This particularly seems to be the case for Marketing Budgets. I have lost count of the number of times a client has significant spends allocated to Exhibitions or Conferences on the basis that “we always attend that one”. Inevitably we ask the question why and what was achieved on the back of that investment. Frequently, the reality is the investment is habitual rather than rational or emotional.

Marketing spend Vs value
This is just part of a bigger question, which is; are we getting value for our marketing spend? We all have limited budgets to work with, so when we do have to spend with marketing service providers surely we want to be confident we are getting value for money. For commodity services like email marketing platforms, direct mail, website hosting etc it is surprising the extent to which some suppliers manage to maintain crazy prices. For high value services e.g. research, strategy & consulting the value is a function of quality and price. The rigour of benchmarking value against alternative suppliers is something that every business should adopt as part of the annual budgeting process to maximise ‘bang per buck’.

What is the right marketing mix for your business?
The same approach could be applied to any spend line item in the marketing budget. While that has value, the key issue for most businesses is what should we be spending our budget on? And what is the right proportion of spend across the marketing mix for a business like ours? Getting that mix right can transform the marketing effectiveness of a business. It helps, as part of this analysis to have external input from industry. Insight on what is working for other companies like yours, what is missing from your marketing activities and where you should be redirecting funds to achieve more with your marketing budget. That’s where we can help. Our clients have realised significant savings and received recommendations on how their marketing budget can be used to generate more business leads.

So are you going to edit last year’s spreadsheets now, or are you going to
take this opportunity
to transform your marketing this year?