Are you budgeting for marketing evolution?

Published April 2, 2015 11:20 am by Scott LoSasso
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Budgeting to keep up with the pace of change in marketing is a challenge for most businesses. How much should I spend on digital, mobile, SEO, content marketing? How can I make sure I am evolving my programs in the face of new stuff while basically working with the same budget? These are important questions because you need a different planning process than the historical norm.

I think it starts by recognizing that the thing that is changing the fastest is the behavior and expectations of our customers.

Think about the fact that the iPad was just introduced in April of 2010. In what feels like a very short time, mobile has become deeply ingrained in our culture – smartphones and tablets have changed the way we get information, consume media and interact with each other in our personal and professional lives – and the pace of this change is not slowing.

Of course you should avoid chasing trends, but the shift in media and how technology is impacting media buying and marketing communications is not a fad. The risk is now squarely on the other side of the equation and failure to evolve quickly enough is a far greater threat.

When you look at how most companies spend their marketing budgets, the allocations often reflect where they have been – not where they are going. So until you break that cycle, the new activities that may be the most important to figure out are the last to get funded.

We have a few tools and strategies to ensure our clients are making the change. But it starts with a conversation about what you think your programs will look like 5 years. Most will agree that change is necessary. To help you look at this differently, you can download our Budgeting Tool for Modern Marketing. This is one of the tools we use to help facilitate evolution with our clients.

Modern marketing relies heavily on digital content, and most marketers have not adjusted their focus accordingly. Budgeting Tool for Modern Marketing breaks tactics down into four basic categories: Strategic Planning and Paid, Earned and Owned tactics. We advocate prioritizing programs that are measurable and build assets that have a multi-year shelf life. Strong owned and earned programs make for excellent content, making it much easier for other modern marketing tactics to fall into place.

While there is no silver bullet that makes this evolution simple, you can commit to a plan and a budgeting process that moves you forward faster.