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auditNext week marks the unofficial end to summer with Labor Day weekend which means that everyone will be heading back to school. It also means the start of the dreaded budget planning season. Marketers across the country will be starting to pull together their projections for 2016 and creating reports to explain ROI on expenditures during 2015. Whereas budget season can be stressful, it also forces us to really examine what works and where there can be room for improvement for marketing efforts. As you go into your budget, here are some tips:

  1. No Need to Keep Up with the Jones’: This can be a very hard thing for marketers to get their heads around since they face so many internal pressures from colleagues. It is especially true when it comes to advertising. If a competitor is advertising in a publication then marketers are the first to hear why they are not advertising as well. Does it make sense? Do you receive the ROI that you expect from advertising? There is no need to do something that your competitors are doing just to do it. It has to make sense to your bottom line.
  2. 5X ROI Should be Your Goal: This is somewhat controversial because it depends on the type of marketing investment you are making but overall of your marketing initiatives you should be seeing somewhere in the vicinity of five times the value of every marketing dollar that is spent. The controversial point comes in with how the company defines “value.” Is that revenue, time, impressions? Only you will know the answer to that.
  3. Numbers Are Your Friend: In-house marketing teams are always going to have to justify their spending for the new fiscal year. That is why coming into a conversation with plenty of numbers and projections is the best way to win your argument. Marketers don’t do marketing to crunch numbers – we do it to solve problems, grow revenue, and think creatively. Be sure you map out each line item expense to the penny so that you can show just how important it is to pursue your marketing goals for the New Year.

Budgets are tough but keep these best practices in mind as you start the process and you will be in good shape in the New Year.