Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Working Marketing Qtr by Qtr- the reality of the 3 month budgets

Today, more than ever, as organisational p&ls are more and more subject to vagaries of quarterly flows, it is crucial for marketing to adapt to this change Traditionally, marketing's lifeblood has been its planning and hence, its ability to have budgets-remember the notion-marketing spending that is start and stop is worse than a low but steady flow of spending… … the following suggestions may help:

  • Rather than try and hang onto budgets, voluntarily contribute back what you can to the corporate kitty- it is really important that business success comes first, and if it means low or no marketing spends, so be it. hey, they will cut it anyway, and this way, you have the first right to propose spends when the going gets better.
  • Be prepared to move really fast- invariably it does happen that you find that $50000 that you need to spend but in 15 days. Please build in short term/ quick move plans that are able to leverage such opportunities that open up suddenly.
  • Look at these as "spring cleaning" opportunities- is it really important that you hang onto that PR agency in that obscure country that gives your business < 3% revenues? Is it really that essential that you be present in full force in a large event only because "what will others say if we are not there"?
  • Get creative- you will find more appetite for creativity and risk in these circumstances-afterall, it does not take much marketing brains to create traction from huge budgets- it is always tougher to do this with zero or little money
  • See what parts of your function you can offload to other functions- can some of the sales or the consulting chappies take on a part of the marketing function (Eg creating white papers? Eg creating own events rather than sponsoring them)
  • Hunker down and build infrastructure- if you do not have a lot going on outside, arguably, your team could be building other, more vital systems/ processes/relationships that are beneficial when things go full steam again? Put in place that collaboration platform, or that financial budgetary control system, or that database cleanse that is important?
  • Look for new value-add channels- I have already laid out a bit of this in an earlier post.

No comments: