As you begin your annual marketing strategy and budgeting process, let me suggest two concepts that can dramatically improve your outcomes.
1. Zero-based strategy
Instead of taking everything you did last year and adding a few more ideas to try, start with a clean slate. Re-justify every marketing activity based on the results you’ve been able to measure. If you don’t have a customer journey map, this is the time to build one!
Doing more of the same activities is a sure way to waste more money and time in achieving your growth goals. The best strategy is to identify marketing efforts that are not delivering the intended ROI and stop those activities to free up time and budget for new experiments.
2. Zero-based budget
Unfortunately, marketing planning usually nothing more than a painfully long and inefficient budgeting exercise. This is why an agency partner is normally brought in. Forcing an outside vendor to justify the investment is an easy way to reset assumptions.
Restart and refresh your budget by forcing yourself or your agency partner to justify every line item and tie the activity to customer acquisition cost and return on investment. Marketing should be the driver of organizational growth and all investment should lead to the profit and loss statement.
Happy planning! The planning and budgeting process can be an exciting and creative process. Plan well, make great strategic decisions and execute with discipline in the new year.