Get Your Marketing Budget Ready for 2014

  |  November 11, 2013   |  Comments

Use this time to evaluate 2013, build a strong case for investments (particularly in technology, skills, data and customer-focused campaigns) and you will be able to hit the ground running in 2014.

It's hard to believe, but the holiday season is just around the corner. With the majority of our thoughts centered on this busy time, it's also important for marketers to be finalizing budget plans for 2014.

For most of us, this is not necessarily the most fun activity we have on our to-do list, but it is a corporate mandate we must perform in order to get the funds we need to drive even better results next year. Whether you're just getting started with a plan, or are putting on the final touches, check out these five areas to consider for next year's budget cycle:

Begin with an Analysis of 2013.

This is the time to dig in and really understand what worked well and what did not perform up to your standards. Do both a bottoms-up inspection of the cost of every program initiative and their associated generated leads. Also, look top down: inspect closed deals and analyze all the marketing tactics that were 'consumed' throughout the sales cycle.

These exercises should give you some fact-based insight into what you will want to repeat or enhance in 2014 and those elements you will want to discontinue. Of course, if you have revenue analytics capabilities built into your marketing automation platform, then take advantage of those functions to help you assess your 2013 performance. If you don't have this type of insight at easy reach, you might even want to consider adding this to your 2014 budget.

Develop a Customer-Focused Budget.

All too often, I see marketers developing tactic-based budgets. That is, they build and report on their budget by categories such as events, content and PR/Social, etc. While you might need to ultimately submit numbers with this type of breakdown, this siloed approach does not give you the perspective you need to assess your investment levels.

Instead, consider developing budgets around customer markets. Possible segments might include new customers in the manufacturing industry or existing retail clients. Once you start with your various customer groups, it is easier to develop integrated, year-long, customer-focused campaign plans.

Make Sure You Include Budget for Data.

The starting point for nearly every marketing automation campaign is data – the launch point for any campaign is a database query, a contact list or a Web form submission. If you are starting with poor quality or incomplete data, your results will reflect that. Part of your budgeting process should include analyzing the data quality of your key customer and prospect segments. If your data is incomplete, you might want to include budget allowances for data append services to help you augment your records with updated contact titles, industry codes, company size or other important information.

Don't Forget Your Own Team.

According to the SiriusDecisions Research Brief, Marketing Automation: Mind the (Skills) Gap, just 5 percent of B2B organizations have a formal, systematic marketing training program. The report also indicates that in 75 percent of companies, the only way that marketers learn is through trial and error. This is clearly unacceptable. Make sure you include proper funding for formal training. The good news is that most of the marketing automation providers have robust certification programs, which are certainly a good start. Include budget dollars to have team members attend industry conferences which can be a fertile ground for training.

Build and Enhance Your Technology Foundation.

By now, most of us have heard the prediction by Gartner analyst Laura McLellan that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs. At first, this statement was met with amazement, but for many of us, 2014 should begin to validate this trend. You must include all the necessary technology platform expenditures that you need in order to reach customers and prospects, or they might find it easier to use or recommend your competitors. Core technology areas to consider include: marketing automation, content management systems, customer relationship management, data warehouse, mobile (ie.: SMS, geo-targeting, and/or app) and analytics solutions.

While most of us would not consider the budgeting process to be one of our favorite tasks, it is an important corporate ritual that allows us to document our investment strategies for the coming year and provide important facts about the positive impact marketers have had on the bottom line.

Use this time to evaluate 2013, build a strong case for investments (particularly in technology, skills, data and customer-focused campaigns) and you will be able to hit the ground running in 2014.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!


Ellen Valentine

Ellen Valentine has more than 20 years of experience as vice president of marketing/CMO for a number of technology companies. She has deep expertise in launching new products, evaluating product and market positions, designing go-to-market strategy, and managing all digital marketing initiatives. She believes that great people and effective technology are foundations for success, but great execution is the ultimate differentiator.

In her role at Silverpop, an IBM company, she's focused on coaching and mentoring Silverpop clients to adapt and thrive in marketing's changing role. She's also a sought-out speaker at industry conferences and events.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.




    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...
    • Paid Search Account Manager
      Paid Search Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring an experienced Paid Search Account Manager to...