Every year around this time many companies undergo forecasting and budget planning for the coming year. In fact, about 65% of U.S. publicly traded companies use the calendar year as their fiscal year. ¹ For some companies it’s a multi-month process and for others it comes together relatively quickly at the end of the year. No matter how your company does it, meticulously planning your marketing budget is critical, especially given the economic environment we’re facing today. From layoffs to supply chain issues and increases in basic costs, it’s hard to know what budgets are going to look like for the coming year.
However, there is hope! According to Forrester research most decision makers expect some level of marketing budget increase for 2023.² So with a chance of a small increase, how do you capitalize on it and plan for the coming year? I have 6 tips for you outlined below.
Tip 1: Start with your goals
It’s imperative that you start with your goals for 2023 so that you can discern how you’re going to achieve them. Does your company need to prioritize retaining and expanding current customers? Or is the goal to acquire as many new ICP (ideal customer profile) fit logos as possible? But keep in mind, costs to acquire new logos versus customer retention and expansion campaigns are quite different. It can cost up to 7x more to acquire a new customer versus retaining an existing one.³ Different goals require different strategies, which require different budget allocations.
This leads to my next tip… Once you understand your goals you can get an idea for the types of campaigns and strategies you and your team will need to implement in the coming year to achieve them.
Tip 2: Campaign Prophecies
It’s nearly impossible to know every type of campaign that you’ll launch in the coming year. Economies change, markets react, resources can be limited, etc. which means not all things will always go to plan. However, most of the time your goals don’t change as a result and you still need to have an idea of what campaigns and strategies to execute to achieve them. Thus, I recommend you try to prophesize some campaigns that support your revenue growth goals. Even if the campaigns change slightly they will at least give you an idea of what budget you’re going to need for each.
Tip 3: Take a resource inventory
As I mentioned in the last tip, resources can change and that can drastically impact your ability to meet your 2023 goals. I would encourage you to take inventory of your current resources in the following categories to determine where you might need to invest to be successful:
- People: Do you have the right talent on your team? Is your team organized in the way it needs in order to accomplish the task at hand efficiently and effectively? Will you need another headcount or two on your team next year? Is a layoff likely to occur?
- Tools: Does your team have the right tools and software needed to support the strategy? Will you need to invest in new tech for your stack? Are there missing integrations with what you currently have? Oh and by the way, how’s your data? And, when’s the last time you conducted a content audit?
- Strategic Partnerships: Are your partnerships working and worth the future/continued investment? Do you need to bring on any new partners?
These three categories can end up being the biggest drain on your budget dollars. The more you can get ahead and protect the consistency of your resources, the better chance you’ll have at implementing your plan and reaching your goals.
Tip 4: Predictive Budgeting
Historical data can be a huge help in planning your budget for the year. By looking at previous year’s budgets and economic environment you can come to some conclusions about what you’ll need to succeed. Think of this as the simplistic way of doing predictive budgeting.
As we’re in a recession… are we in a recession? Who knows? You don’t want to compare costs and results from a year where the economy was thriving and dollars were being thrown left and right to today’s circumstances. For example, if I’m looking to sponsor a booth at a tradeshow next year I might be able to compare the cost to a previous year’s sponsorship. However, the results and ROI could be very different since in-person events are trying to make a comeback. If I had a year where attendance was notoriously low for in-person events that would be a better year to compare costs and ROI.
Ultimately, historical data and costs are only going to help you so much because no one has a crystal ball. They are meant to give you a good ballpark/starting point.
Tip 5: Work closely with your finance team
During budgeting season, your finance team are your best friends. It’s important to really understand the current financial state of the business so you can allocate dollars appropriately and be realistic. Your finance team can also walk you through their forecasting so that you go into the new year on the same page and with a mutual understanding of what’s expected and when.
Tip 6: Get specific
This might be obvious, but get as detailed as you can when breaking down your budget. Use your campaign prophecies to determine your buckets of costs and then try to break that down even further into channel costs, external resources, sponsorship costs, etc. for each. The more specific you can be with each budget allocation, the more efficient you’ll end up with your dollars.
So there you have it! Those are my 6 tips to help you during this wonderful time of year. It’s more important than ever to strategically prepare and plan so that you set your team up as best you can for the coming year. I hope these tips were helpful and I wish you the best of luck! If you have any questions or are looking for a revenue growth partner please reach out.