The Perils of Letting Budget Dictate Your Marketing Plans

Ideas are never in short supply. When marketing plans fall short, it’s typically a matter of being able to execute on those ideas (or a matter of choosing the right ideas in the first place). For many people, these decisions come down to a matter of budget. You might think that must mean that there isn’t enough money to go around. Believe it or not, sometimes a big budget causes far more challenges: Too many options are pursued, money is being thrown around like confetti, and by comparison, the return on investment starts to look pretty bleak.

Smaller Budget

One challenge that we’re all familiar with is budget constraints. When you have a limited budget, you need to be smart about where those dollars are applied so that you’re making the most of limited resources. This is a relatable situation for many small businesses and under-resourced marketing teams—but it comes down to putting in the research to learn what’s performing best for you currently, what’s worked (or not) in the past, and what you’re hoping to do differently going forward, in order to maximize your spend. Every marketing dollar plays a role in getting you closer to your company’s goals. Sometimes, a smaller budget forces people to push the envelope, think outside of the box, and get a lot more creative—with amazing results.

Higher Budget

Some companies have the opposite problem: too much money. Sure, it sounds like a problem we’d all love to have—on its face. But sometimes, marketing teams feel the need to allocate and spend all of their cash each quarter or each year, without asking if everything they’re creating or investing in is actually helping them get closer to achieving their big-picture goals. A large budget might inspire teams to generate a lot of new work, rather than reviewing and maximizing existing efforts. They often lose track of the payoff. This means they might not be scaling results to match the sheer amount of work they’re suddenly overseeing. Another example is when ambitious spenders look for “better” solutions; but more expensive doesn’t always mean better. In the end, they might find that paying for higher-budget software and pricier talent simply leads to the same outcomes. It all comes down to what you’re really looking for, what you’re hoping to achieve, and who it’s for; once you start asking the right questions and applying that budget strategically, you might even need to revisit and revise your original plan. It might be more campaigns, it might be better creative, and it might mean simply stepping up what you’re already doing and investing in better ways of tracking the work toward your objectives. 

The Takeaway

Both cases are similar, because the marketing strategy is at risk of being planned around the budget, instead of the other way around. At Mad 4 Marketing, we know that it’s essential to start at the beginning: Identify what it is you want to achieve, and what it will take to get you there, and then how money can be best spent in pursuit of those well-thought-out steps and their aims. 

At the same time, we must emphasize the need to iterate. See what’s working in real time, and with regular check-ins, to determine if tweaks need to be made along the way to optimize your investments. Anyone who wants you to sign a check and walk away, waiting for the final results they promised, is probably just there for that check and will not remain focused thereafter on actually ensuring your success.

Reach out to us to learn how we can help take your efforts forward—on any budget.

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