A marketing budget tune-up, as easy as 1, 2, 3


When should you revisit your budget assumptions?

I recommend you do this at each mid-quarter. By that point in time, your quarterly initiatives are well under way, you are financially committed for the remaining of the quarter and you should start turning the corner on the following 90 days. But don’t turn the corner too fast. Strategic planning is critical, but it’s based on a point in time. You might have developed a great plan for 2011 in Q4 of 2010, but you should reassess your assumptions – hence the term “tune-up.”

3-steps to tune-up your marketing budget:

1. First, the environment might have shifted, either allowing you more opportunities or creating new threats. Capitalize on new market opportunities that have arisen since your plan was created. Or minimize your threats, including those prompted by your competition.

2. Second, ensure that all strategically critical initiatives are well funded. Use freed budget from your first step to add fire power to these programs/tactics. Don’t settle for the mediocre, go for the “WOW” factor.

3. Third, by now you may have the right metrics (quantitative or qualitative) to assess whether your programs are working or not. Immediately terminate projects that did not work or are no longer relevant. Also, after doing step 1 and 2, you should compare those needs versus what you had planned and make the tough trade-offs. These actions will free up cash/budget.

NOTE: One thing that always gets over looked in budget discussions is the human effort cost. Following these steps will help you prioritize your efforts and deliver higher quality, simultaneously. Don’t underestimate this, especially if you’re managing people, it’s as important as the financial aspect, if not more important in the long-term.

Try these steps and you’ll keep your marketing budget strategic and flexible!

Good marketing!

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5 marketing questions to ask yourself right now!


This week I had the privilege of joining MarketingProfs for the Seth Godin webinar titled 57 Ways to Connect with Your Customers & Get Them to Spread Your Ideas with You.  As I sit back reflecting on the week, I go back to a statement that Seth made – “Marketing is about making promises and keep ‘em.”

Is it that simple? YES! It is both simple & difficult.

This statement has kept ringing in my head and it’s very timely. We just kicked-off Q1 and while our first quarter is fully underway, I find myself cementing the tactical plan for the rest of the year (Q2-Q4). So as I consider future direction, I’m asking myself these questions, based on Seth’s statement:

5 Questions

•  Is the promise clear, relevant & differentiated to the target audience?

•  What vehicles am I executing to make those promises a reality in the client’s view?

•  Will my organization stand behind the brand promise?

•  How much marketing focus do I spend on post-sale client satisfaction?

•  Am I fully leveraging happy clients in case studies, testimonials or referrals?

In all transparency, at this point, I give myself a slightly above average score… but it’s not good enough. The value of Seth’s statement is its simplicity & clarity. However, as marketing practitioners, while doing business planning, negotiating with internal/external stakeholders & just the daily pressures, our clarity can, and often does, become obscured.

So I wanted to post these questions to you with the hope that you benefit from them as well. It’s early on the year. If you’re unsatisfied with your answers, the time to act is now.

Good marketing!

 

2010 a year in blogging – thank you!


 

WP: Blog-Health-o-Meter™

HNY!  Thank you for your support and readership of Marketing 4 Marketeers! 

This is a simple post to thank you and give you a brief update of the blog. 

I’ll start qualitatively… blogging rocks!  It’s liberating, exhilarating and difficult to maintain.  I’m never out of topics, just out of time.  Word Press rated this blog “Fresher than Ever.”  I’ve blogged about what I have a passion for and what I’m grateful to spend my waking hours doing – marketing.  If you have not started your own blog… make it a NY’s resolution

One of the underestimated benefits of blogging has been the networking.  People find and read your blogs more than I ever thought.  One benefit has been that I’ve been asked to write marketing book reviews and join the editorial board for PM360, a circulation to ~17,000 marketing subscribers.  That has led to another opportunity and I’m now working with Advertising Age on revamping their “bookstore” where I’ll be writing marketing book reviews.  If you can’t tell by now, I also love books, so reviews are a great extension of that pastime and hopefully a value add for you.

Unfortunately my time seems to be ever lessening.  A happy marriage with 5 kids, a full time job and volunteer activities pull me away from blogging.  When I started to blog I committed to 1 blog/month.  I believe I can sustain that for 2011, especially through my book reviews, but I’m not sure how much beyond that I can produce. 

Now the numbers, from the Word Press 2010 yearly report:

 

All in all, I’m satisfied with the blog.  I hope you are too.  Give me some feedback: please post your comments or e-mail me at rroman7@gmail.com.

Let’s have a GREAT 2011!