Because no one wants to run out of ad money on a Wednesday… or really any day.
A surefire way to have your day ruined is getting dreaded email from payables that you’ve over spent the marketing budget and are now on a freeze. And even worse is finding out that your business was just shy of reaching its revenue goal because your marketing team underspent its budget, leaving money and leads on the table.
The good news is that these are easily avoidable. Apply these 5 tips to your marketing budgeting practice and you too can be the rockstar that hits your budget projections at exactly 100%.
Track Your Expenses
This is fairly simple. If you aren’t tracking your expenses, you won’t know your budget’s status until you get a slack from Rick in Finance at the end of the month. Tracking your company’s expenses is made easy with tools that integrate with banks and automatically sync with company’s credit card expenses and expense logging platforms. Oftentimes tools will learn from the categorizations that you apply and save you time in the long from always marking "Google Adwords" as CPC spend.
When you have all your expenses tracked and categorized, it's easy to know exactly where your money is and how much you have left to spend.
So now you know that you’ve spent 30% of your budget. This is great if it’s the 10th of the month, but terrible if it’s day 26 and you’re just now finding out.
You’ll find there are two reasons to project your budget into the future. The first is so you know if you’re on track to spend your budget effectively and the second is to prevent irregular expenses (like annual subscriptions) from surprising you and gobbling up your whole month’s budget.
Be thoughtful and project irregular expenses differently. One-time expenses like ordering event freebies need to be treated differently than your regular cost-per-click advertising.
Don't Fear Reallocation
Despite all your best efforts in projections, you will eventually overspend a particular budget. You didn't calculate shipping, you left ads running on the weekend, or you didn't foresee an incidental expense. The best thing to do now is reallocate your funds.While budgeting takes discipline and dedication, it also requires that you are flexible and adaptable. When you find that you are over-spent within a particular category, you need to adjust and re-allocate funds from another category to maintain on track for your bottom line. It may take a bit of maneuvering, but it's needed to stay on track.
Collaborate With Your Team
Technology, tools, advertising, consulting, sponsorships, swag—there are many components of a marketing budget and it's difficult for a single person to keep all these expenses in one place. Use your fellow marketing and finance folks to help you keep up to date on expenses and plans.
When your team is using the same tool to track your expenses, it's easy to tag others with questions about expenses and stay in alignment
Optimize Your Spend
The hardest part of managing a budget is knowing that you're spending it effectively. You'll want to set up analytics to measure the return on investment, ROI, of your campaigns. Comparing the ROI of your marketing initiative is crucial in stretching your marketing budget further.
Once you find that your prospects aren't responding to your Facebook advertising but loved your local event promotions, you can be confident in re-allocating your Facebook ad spend to your event programming. It's like a gift to yourself when you can save resources by not doing ineffective tactics.
If you follow these five steps, you'll find it's easy to make the most of your marketing budget, keep aligned with your teams, and keep your spend right on target.
You'll no longer need to fear the 'Rick in Finance' monthly email.