Budget allocation, to some degree, is part of every marketer’s role. While different at varying levels of authority, the process is never easy.
Even enterprise marketing organizations with substantial budgets know how quickly the numbers seem to dwindle once you begin allotting each department and marketing campaign its part of the whole.
Marketers have to account for a truly staggering number of ongoing costs including (but not necessarily limited to):
- The cost of staff salaries, benefits, and any training or travel required
- The costs of a growing list of martech products your business needs
- Ongoing ad costs, like those for PPC and print ads
- Costs for conference sponsorship, attendance and travel
- Costs for any consultants or freelance creatives to supplement your team
No matter the number you start out with, you’re likely to feel stretched thin by the time you account for each line item.
And the budget you’re given is the budget you have to work with. That’s why you must incorporate marketing planning into how you allocate your budget.
How Marketing Planning Makes a Difference
Marketing planning requires actively using your data to stay on top of how all your marketing activities relate to each other, and how they relate to your budget spend and revenue. It enables you to ensure your budget pays off in three key ways.
- It helps you align activities with goals.
Two of the biggest budgeting challenges marketing organizations face are connecting marketing goals with business objectives and providing accurate revenue attribution that justifies the budget.
Both of these can be solved by using a marketing planning technology to help you see how your budget relates to your marketing activities and how your marketing activities relate to your goals. At many organizations, your goals, budget, and marketing activities are still disconnected. Marketing planning brings them together, providing one big picture you can make better sense of.
- It shows you what’s working (and what’s not).
Legendary ad man John Wanamaker is perhaps best remembered for a quote far too many marketers can relate to: "Half my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half."
In the era he worked in, options to solve that problem were limited. Today, we are able to provide accurate revenue attribution. It takes the right data and technology, but when you have the means to draw lines between a lead’s interactions with marketing materials and their eventual purchase, you can start to show ROI.
Marketing planning is all about helping make those connections, but it’s still something many are slow to adopt. Until more marketing organizations jump on board, proving ROI will likely continue to be one of the biggest challenges cited.
- Better marketing planning gives you more of your budget back.
The first two points both lead up to this one. When you can better track where your money goes and how much of it is resulting in revenue, then you can make informed decisions about where your budget should be going for improved outcomes.
You can cut out the fat that’s not paying off, or try out new approaches against previous benchmarks. You’ll gain the confidence to make real-time decisions based on what the data shows you is paying off.
Marketers that have implemented real-time marketing planning have managed to recover 27% of their marketing budget simply by being able to better determine which of their marketing campaigns were working as expected.
If you’d like to learn more, just let us know. We’d be happy to provide a quick intro to both the product and marketing planning in general.
The right technology is just one component toward putting better marketing planning into action. Marketing organizations have seen significant results by leveraging Hive9 in their marketing planning initiatives. Our recent case study from MongoDB lays out how even a savvy team can gain fresh insights with a performance-oriented planning solution.
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