Budgeting Blunders: Don’t Slash Marketing Spend in 2023, Streamline Instead
With looming reports of economic uncertainty in the days ahead, many businesses will be forced to carefully evaluate budgets across departments—and marketing is no exception.
When it comes to budgeting for 2023, it’s crucial for marketing and revenue professionals to take careful stock of their current initiatives and priorities and not make rash decisions. Companies that invest smartly and consistently during economic downturns often gain a competitive advantage, according to Harvard Business Review. It’s all about taking stock of what’s working within your organization and doubling-down on those strategies.
To succeed amid economic uncertainty, smart marketers will need to focus on four key components when planning for the next fiscal year: strategy, industry segmentation, buying committees, and growth measurement.
- Strategy: Given today’s market factors, it’s more important than ever to have a well-structured and cohesive marketing strategy in place that aligns with sales and the overall business objectives. Gone are the days of haphazard, spray-and-pray strategies—marketing today must be intentional, targeted, and personalized. This truth must be considered when planning for marketing strategy and spend in the year ahead.
- Industry segmentation: In planning for the year ahead, companies should look carefully at their current industry segment and prioritize clients based on current and forecasted demand. Market segments allow companies to tailor their offerings to suit the needs of a given demographic or industry. This will make it easier to pin down your ideal target market and identify potential customers that could need your business solution now more than ever. Once your target industries and ideal customer profiles (ICPs) have been established, take the time to personalize your marketing efforts to address the unique pain points faced by each of your audiences.
- Buying committees: Far too often, marketers plan their audience engagement strategies with only their target ICPs in mind, without considering the larger buying committee that might be involved in the decision-making process. This is a missed opportunity, which can significantly impact your win rate. To avoid these potential blockers in the buying journey, it’s critical for marketers to intimately understand the buying committee members of your target accounts—their needs, requirements, hopes, and dreams. Without a comprehensive profile for each of the key decision-makers on a company’s buying committee, marketers will be ill-equipped to identify potential concerns and could overlook opportunities to boost profits. Just as marketing messages must be personalized to the intended recipient, marketing tactics should be personalized to each purchasing journey.
- Growth measurement: Here’s the hard truth: Not every campaign you run in 2023 will be successful. Smart marketers must be open to measuring campaign impact frequently and tweaking their campaigns as it becomes clear what’s working and, more important, what’s not. Far too often, marketers want to stay the course and see their campaigns through. While this determination is commendable, it must be backed by data. Opt for marketing tactics that can be easily tracked for campaign performance, as well as flexible tools that will allow you to adjust your tactics along the way. To succeed in a highly volatile market, you must be adaptable and willing to pivot on a moment’s notice.
- Focus on Streamlining Processes: Here’s the hard truth: Not every campaign you run in 2023 will be successful. Smart marketers must be open to measuring campaign impact frequently and tweaking their campaigns as it becomes clear what’s working and, more important, what’s not. Far too often, marketers want to stay the course and see their campaigns through. While this determination is commendable, it must be backed by data. Opt for marketing tactics that can be easily tracked for campaign performance, as well as flexible tools that will allow you to adjust your tactics along the way. To succeed in a highly volatile market, you must be adaptable and willing to pivot on a moment’s notice.
Streamline Processes When Possible
Instead of slashing marketing budgets, leaders should focus on streamlining processes wherever possible, investing in the highest impact initiatives, and trimming waste. I predict that the marketers who will be most successful in 2023 and beyond will be those that resist the impulse to blindly cut back on their marketing programs, especially when it comes to physical marketing tactics like direct mail.
The data doesn’t lie. According to the recent Hybrid Experiences Bring Direct Mail Into The Digital Age study by Forrester, 78 percent of marketers witnessed a performance boost by leveraging analog touchpoints such as direct mail. That’s compared with 76 percent of respondents who reported that engagement with digital marketing touchpoints is waning.
Many forward-thinking marketers are turning to personalized direct mail campaigns, which can be a powerful weapon in any marketer’s arsenal. With the ability to amplify other digital and physical touchpoints in the buyer journey, these campaigns can help marketers forge deeper relationships and spark engagement across their audiences.
As you plan for your marketing strategy and budget for 2023, we invite you to watch our recent webinar with Forrester to learn how modern direct mail can be leveraged to amplify your digital marketing efforts in the year ahead: Click here to access the recording.
For More on Budgeting
Our partner, Integrate, has just released a report that can help you get ready for 2023 budgeting. The ”State of Marketing Budgets” e-book is now available. Many marketers rely on Integrate’s technology to craft omni-channel experiences, connect data silos, measure ROI, and effectively compete in today’s buyer-centric world.
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