Marketing Budgets: And how to deal with 'Use it or lose it' season
Founder / MD
February & March. It's a certain time of year for wonderful B2B marketers everywhere...
A uniquely hectic, challenging and mind-boggling couple of months for many.
That's right. It's "Use it or Lose it" season - especially for those B2B marketers up and down the channel - and their B2B marketing budgets (especIally those that make use of Marketing Development Funds (MDF))
As a new financial year looms on the horizon and Q1 slips through our collective fingers at lightning speed of course no one ever really wants to take the "Lose it" option (and be tasked with doing EVEN more with EVEN less).
But the "Use it" option comes with its own complexities and complications. Especially if you're one of those lucky types who needs to provide Proof of Execution (POE) and show Return on Investment (ROI) before the end of this Financial Year (FY).
I love an acronym, don't you? (ILAADY?)
Now, loads of branded merch might look top notch and yes, it get's the budget spent, but I'm not sure you can really prove the positive impact of a logo'd up backpack, bum bag, or snood. Or can you? *
And you're going to have to play an absolute blinder, use some kind of voodoo AND sell your least favourite organ or offspring to drive any meaningful bottom line revenue uplift in the space of a couple of months.
So what can you do instead to ensure you use it - and deliver some meaningful value from your marketing spend in year - rather than lose it?
Fear not, sweet marketer. I've got your back.
May I proudly present "3 top ways to use and not lose your budgets before year end that will deliver value and positive impact". Excellent title. Here we go:
1) Uncrap your data
If you know your database isn't up to scratch do something about it. Put your budget to work to test, cleanse, update, and/or refresh your contact data to create a pool of on-target individuals.
Obviously be smart about it. Don't just buy a random list off of someone from Upwork or whatever. Instead do your research, understand exactly who you need to target and then build from there.
Value to be had right now as you'll vastly improve the health of your database (and buying audience insights). Value to be had for the year as you'll have this data to be woven into your campaign activity. Bosh.
2) Create a hero content piece
Use the time and budget you've got left to build a great, big, brilliant content piece. Something like a research paper, customer insight piece, or sector specific trends analysis would be ace.
This puts a tick in the box for the short term as you'll (hopefully) create something of value that people will want to get sight of now, driving inbound enquiries.
But for the long term it also gives you the basis to create a plethora of sub-campaign activity. Blogs, infographics, audio content, video content, social campaigns, etc.
No need to reinvent the wheel each and every time. You've got your wheel. You can just keep spinning it out into different formats. Winner.
3) Find a niche sponsorship
Depending on how much you've got to play with a sponsorship deal can deliver short term impact and also go a long way to drive awareness (and with careful management, demand gen results) over the long term.
Just make sure that a) You're able to access your target audience via the sponsorship b) You've got a guaranteed list of activations agreed, and c) You get a commitment to exactly how "shouty" you can be about it. Shazam.
As easy as that, right? *insert knowing wink smiley*
*No. The answer is no
Don't want to "lose it"? Then you should defo "use it" (with Sharper)...