Are you afraid of the big bad budget?
It”s that time of the year, quarter, or month where your marketing spend will align with your projected budgets, right? Perhaps you work at an organization with proper procurement processes and a purchase-to-pay cycle. As such your marketing budget management is a breeze.
However, it”s more likely that you work in a business with ad-hoc marketing spend. Most businesses, both large and small, typically will have some semblance of a procurement process. When you”re controlling for items that are critical to daily operational success – you”re going to have someone who”s job it is to keep the purchasing cycle rolling.
Yet marketing teams often lag behind with out-dated systems involving lots of paperwork, broken cash-flows, and ad-spend bottlenecks.
Furthermore, marketing budgets are historically always increasing whereas operations and manufacturing costs are typically always decreasing. As a result in a business environment where cutting excess costs is crucial to survival – understanding how to drive an efficient marketing budget will take the focal point of generating returns while decreasing maverick spending.
Now this doesn”t mean you have to immediately switch to an expensive ERP for marketing budget management. There are simple methods that are either process based, use free templates, or involve software to help businesses manage their marketing budgets.
Three Easy Ways
- A simple process based start can involve the use of project budgets. The goal of project budgets is fairly simple – you don”t want to exceed your project budgets. Marketing teams set their budgets by individuals, projects, or teams and actively manage their spending. This can often involve roles including marketing controller or purchase order approver positions and focus on ensuring only approved spending is conducted. By adding checks and balances to your marketing spend, organizations become proactive in managing their marketing cash-flow. A second benefit of role-based approval systems for marketing is a proactive stance on budget adjustment. Having an individual in charge of marketing spend will allow businesses to move away from pragmatic budget projection (what can we feasibly spend) towards results oriented budget projection (what should we be spending).
- Another step towards good marketing budget management is the use of templates and spreadsheets to track spending. Companies such as Hubspot have created templates freely available for marketers and businesses to better track their marketing spend.
- Finally, organizations can use e-procurement and purchase order software to help align their budgeting goals to their marketing spend. Different systems use different methods to help businesses manage their marketing spend. For example, software can implement and enforce role-based systems that place individuals in control positions to manage the purchase-to-pay cycle from requesting, purchasing, and approving.
The video below goes a bit more into how software can help marketing budget managements.