The Budget Balancing Act
Creating, balancing, and maintaining a marketing budget is a headache on the best days. On the worst days, budget maintenance can feel like trying to put together a 5,000-piece puzzle with your feet, blindfolded in the center of a sharknado.
Deciding which campaigns are worthy of more funds, and which ones could be cut, isn’t always easy. Juggling the many factors that go into smart budget maintenance is a true feat. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty when it comes to budgeting, just know that it’s going to take some careful attention and dedication. If you’re not willing or able to put in the hours, best to hand the reins over to a pro to take on the balancing act.
Why is Balancing a Marketing Budget So Hard?
In a nutshell, balancing a marketing budget is a drag because there are so many moving pieces. Between display ads, email campaigns, marketing salaries and agency fees, there’s just so much to keep track of.
So, how do you know where to allocate the bulk of your funds, and where you can afford to trim the fat? It’s largely a matter of data and stats, with a little sprinkling of common sense.
Kick Traditional Marketing to the Curb
Unless you’re a massive national retailer or a sizeable law firm with massive reach (and a budget to match), traditional media marketing outlets just aren’t going to deliver the punch you’re trying to throw.
While mediums like television and print advertising certainly have their place in the marketing realm, they’re extremely expensive and leave a lot to be desired. When you’re using these mediums, it can be difficult to target a very specific audience, and even harder to measure the efficacy of your campaign.
Hone in on Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the new hallmark of effective marketing for several reasons. More people are spending a significant part of their time online, giving digital advertisers ample opportunity to direct their attention accordingly.
But there are several, very specific reasons digital marketing is going to get you what you want, giving you the most bang for your buck.
Hit the Target on Your Audience
When it comes to speaking directly to your audience, digital marketing strategies give you the opportunity to direct your message straight into the ears and eyes that want to receive it. You have the opportunity to go through social channels, where people are following and present because they’re already interested in what you have to offer.
Display ads, like those you see on Google and Facebook, give you the ability to narrow down your target audience to the size of a pinpoint, should you so desire. You can choose the location, gender, political preference, and even hobbies that your ideal audience fits into. It’s scary accurate, which is why you might often feel exposed yourself when you’re scrolling and notice ads that seem a little too personal. That’s good marketing for you.
Track Your Success
Digital marketing comes with built-in footprints. When you’re pulling in leads and conversions online, it’s possible to see where your customer came from, and which of your ads or posts encouraged them to take the plunge.
If you know what’s working, and what’s not, it can be a lot easier to decide where you want to dedicate your budget, and where you can cut your losses. Of course, if you’re using multiple platforms and several campaigns, juggling that data can get a little tricky.
Make Sense of Your Traffic Data
At the end of the day, your campaign data doesn’t mean much if you don’t know what to do with it. Sure, it’s fun to read all those numbers and see the evidence of your bright ideas at work, but how do you make that data work for you?
The trick lies in organizing and displaying your data in a way that actually makes sense. Here, you can spend hours compiling your hard-earned data into reports or legible charts (don’t forget to dip into your budget for that manpower), or you can use a simple tool like MyDash to do it for you.
MyDash takes all of your data and puts it into an easy-to-use dashboard that actually makes sense, and will help you see where your marketing budget is working hardest, making your future budget decisions a no-brainer.
Let the Pros Step In
At the end of the day, the easiest way to balance your marketing budget is to accept a little bit of help from someone who knows what they’re doing. The idea of outsourcing your marketing may feel like giving up a lot, but it’s going to pan out much better in the long run.
Choosing to work with a marketing agency, particularly one that is digitally based, will take all of the headaches out of balancing your budget. All you have to do is designate your budget, be specific about what you want your money to do, and let the professionals go to work.
If you choose the right agency, they’ll help you decide which campaigns and actions are smarter than others, and use data to back up their suggestions. You don’t have to guess about which platforms to use, or how to set up your ads in the best way possible—your new best friend will do all of the leg work for you.
Resolve to Make Budgeting Easier This Year
You’re far too busy to be juggling a marketing budget that has constantly moving, changing pieces, without any help. This year, stop making things so hard on yourself. Go digital, get a better way to manage your data, and don’t be afraid to call in the pros. The results you’ll see, and the hours you’ll save, will be well worth it and give you more time to do what you do best.