Budget cuts – What happens to Marketing

It’s coming towards the end of the year and for many, that means the process of reviewing the budget for the next fiscal year. Reviewing every line of that budget becomes a tedious and necessary job. What gets cut? What stays?

Going department by department often leads right to the marketing department. At first glance, this seems like an obvious place to reallocate. The ROI is hard to prove. There typically is a long tail on any marketing efforts. And marketing efforts don’t always seem mission-critical.

I would like to argue that they are indeed mission-critical and there is never a more crucial time to invest in marketing than during economic downturns. But why?

  • Reputation in the market place. Consistency is always key. Don’t let others speak into the market place. Be the expert that you are and prove to the market why you are the front runner.
  • Keep your existing customer base. Your current base is your best place for repeat sales. You should be reaching these customers more than any other pool of people. Don’t let your current customers out of your sights.
  • Find new customers. The constant problem everyone has is attrition. Customers fall off. It’s a natural process. So if you are not attracting new customers, you are losing market share naturally. And if you are not actively marketing then your chances of gaining new customers is just that…chance.

So how do you handle this in a room full of mission-critical personnel? You need to come with data to prove your effectiveness. It always comes back to data.

And if you are not using data to market your goods or services, you certainly can’t use data to prove it’s effectiveness. Here’s how:

  • Start with good clean data. Bad data that hasn’t been hygiened can lead to a waste of money. You end up marketing to vacant homes, deceased people, and even prisoners.
  • Unify your data. If you are like most companies, your data is scattered across many platforms creating data silos. How do you really know about who your best customer is if their data is spread across multiple sources?
  • Segment properly. Prioritize your customers based on who has bought or is more likely to buy. The more you know about your customers, the better the segmentation can be.
  • Know your matchback numbers. After you run your campaigns, know where the responses are coming from. Don’t stop at the campaign level. Drill down to the segments and even to the customers. Determine which campaign worked for what segment and what customers and then analytically dig into the “whys”.

Ultimately, a good matchback will prove your ROI, especially if you bring that matchback into the cost of goods sold. Operationally it makes complete sense to marry these numbers and prove your ROI.

So as you walk into budget meetings, if you don’t have all of this data, why not suggest invoking a platform that can bring you all this data. At Valurity Analytics, we can help you with all of these marketing data issues. As data scientists, we are the perfect complement to your creative marketing team.