Getting the balance between your marketing budget and strategy in your marketing plan is no easy feat. You’ve got a lot of things to consider and you’ve got a lot of things that can change at any moment.
Now, just to clear things up, your marketing strategy is your long-term game plan determined by your business goals while your budget plays a vital part in helping you to accomplish these goals. However, the big ask here is getting these two components to work together effectively by finding the right alignment.
This is particularly important because budget and strategy tend to look at the bigger picture which in other words means that they’re most likely to be allocated on an annual basis. And this is where your marketing plan comes in.
Your marketing plan is the road-map that directs you along each step to make sure that you’re achieving your goals as measured by your results. It effectively breaks down your budget and strategy into segments, enabling you to track results and makes sure that you’re working towards your strategy. Get the alignment right and you will see your plan drive the strategy forward. Get it wrong and you’ll see that your marketing strategy remains much harder to achieve.
So, we’ve established that balanced alignment is key, but how do you go about creating it? This is the hard part because finding this balance is a fine line. You’ve got a lot of factors to take into consideration, such as different time-frames and the needs of your business. As a result, your marketing plan needs to accommodate all these varying factors. Otherwise, your numbers will be off, and your plan will ignore your strategy.
3 Steps to Finding the Right Balance
- Get all marketing plans and budgets in one place – When you have different information floating around, you’re unable to make informed decisions. That’s why the first step should be all about getting your marketing plans and budgets in one place. It will be difficult to determine if your plans align to and reflect your strategy if you are always aggregating and manipulating data. With your plans in one place, you will need to create the segmentation and dimensions that align to how you set the strategy for the business. It is only by viewing your plans through the lens of your business objectives that you can see and prove the alignment.
- Set goals and track in real time – There’s a lot of factors that can change at any time and that’s why you need to continue to realign over time. When these factors vary so could your goals, and for this reason your budget should adapt by allocating funds towards these changing goals and the results that you need to see.
- Find out what’s working and what’s not – Your plan must be flexible enough to adapt to change, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to streamline and improve it. If you’re able to track and measure results, then you can make the right decisions when it comes to reinvesting your budget, because you can focus on the most successful areas of your business and stop investing in those areas which aren’t delivering results.
As you can see, there’s a lot of factors that you need to consider when finding the right balance within your marketing budget to align with your strategy, but with these 3-steps you can make great strides towards achieving this. When both are aligned and brought under control, it becomes much easier to find and maintain the right balance.
Discover how Hive9 can help you get this right. We understand what’s required to effectively allocate budget in your marketing plan. Get in touch with us today.