With the New Year only months away, many brand marketers are diving into their 2020 budgets, profits dancing in their heads. But whether your budgetary planning covers an entire twelve-month stretch, or just a simple solitary campaign, one fact remains undeniable: efficient and productive use of funds begins and ends with an airtight budget plan.
What are the key elements of such a plan? Topping the list is a component not exactly financial in nature. That component is the customer. To know this target is to be ten steps ahead when it comes to maximizing the use of those budget bucks. After all, generous ad spend will flop miserably if cash is squandered on non-receptive minds. Clearly, marketers of every stripe must connect with those most likely to buy. And that means knowing something deep and penetrating about shoppers.
Gaining first-hand knowledge about potential customers, of course, requires research. Far-reaching, deep-digging, intel-hunting research. Nothing in the known galaxy can take its place.
Don’t, however, limit this painstaking endeavor to obvious prospects. That would be way too easy and psychologically unrewarding. No, you’d rather work your tail off. So, in this fine age of social media, seek out potential influencers, wherever they’re hanging out. Naturally, discovering these influential folks depends on the targeted industry. Different opinion shapers travel in different circles. Again, uncovering their identities necessitates grueling research.
Once marketers understand the inner customer, marketing channels should be matched to the target. Social media might work for one demographic, and fizzle for another. Therefore, the scattershot, everything for everybody is a very risky proposition. With thorough knowledge of the customer, marketers can eliminate wasteful deployment of useless media and put their money where it will do the most good.
Finally, marketers should develop an accurate tracking system -- a reliable mechanism for monitoring the progress of their efforts. Currently, the world offers many tools designed for this surveillance work. Ultimately, the chosen tools will uncover a compelling story fraught with nail-biting suspense – is the ad spend delivering? Or not. If the latter, careful monitoring allows marketers to adjust strategies, long before the budget tank is empty.
If you have any questions or comments about preparing a marketing budget, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.