We’ve been facilitating a number of planning sessions with clients who are putting together budgets for the new financial year. These six steps will help you get bang for your buck; ensuring your budget process is water tight and maximise success for your marketing activities in FY 2013-2014.
1. Match marketing and communication objectives to strategic planning
We all know marketing activities should support achievement of business goals. Take each business goal and define the communication activities required. There is almost no business activity that doesn’t have a communication dimension to it. Prioritise which business activities represent key success factors. Most urgent with highest impact comes first.
The following matrix can help provide a visual representation to help decide what is out and what is in:
From your list of activities you’ll be able to plan resources, timing and budget. On budget, don’t let anyone give you a ‘rule of thumb’ percentage of revenue or profit to spend on marketing. Every business and its relationship with the market is different.
2. Assign metrics
You’ll never get the budget you want if you can’t demonstrate how you’ll measure return on investment (ROI). Consider how you will track customer activity, conversion and engagement. Include realistic internal and external resource costs to paint the whole picture. Drive as much activity online to increase the opportunity for inexpensive measurement. And make this the year you…
3. Leverage social media for insight
Get closer to your stakeholders, customers and employees by setting up the most relevant social media channels, incentivising activity. Use social media, website and enewsletter analytics to understand buyer behaviour. Which of your activities, services and products excites your customers most and why. Enjoy the confidence of quickly making tactical decisions with confidence.
4. Know your customer
When was the last time you really did some deep thinking about your customer, member or other key stakeholder? Whether you call it target audience profiling, buyer personae mapping or psycho-demo-technographic profiling (no, not joking!), smartphones, social media and ecommerce are combining in ways that have completely changed the way people source advice and make purchases. The rate of behavioural change is such that you cannot afford to revisit your customer profiles once every few years. Just consider, companies and governments now need to reach a consumer on the way to work to make a sale, to get their message across. Less and less do people ‘get on the net’, instead they make a purchase on a site via a social media platform on their smartphone. ‘Impulse buying’ and ‘decisions on the go’ to match our hectic lifestyle.
5. Integrated marketing
A corporate brand and positioning must integrate with products and services. Building awareness and reaching customers requires a range of functions: advertising, public relations, online communications, media relations/publicity, direct marketing, sponsorship and events, and more. All activities must be united in core objective and support multiple activities. Communication at the start of the 21st Century is at a transitional point where traditional methods need to be matched with new channels. It’s challenging to strategise, plan and execute. To ensure no duplication of content or activities and a rewarding customer experience, collaboration and visibility is essential. No matter where your team are located, they can be directed via one platform, reporting back in realtime via mobile devices. We use Teamwork.
6. Match needs to skills
Does your team have the skills to realise your objectives? Can they be up skilled? Do they need support? Incompatible skill sets blow budgets and timelines. Ensure your team has the right level of support to deliver on their mandate.
Need a sounding board? Someone to test your assumptions? We are here to help.
Talk to us about budgeting templates, trends and options.