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How to strategically manage your marketing budget with 8 integrated marketing budget templates

Setting strategic and channel direction, working toward commercial objectives and KPIs and monitoring success is great, but if you're not tracking budget or ROI per channel it's hard to understand how much money you've had to spend to see a return. This is a quick way to burn through the budget you may have had to negotiate from management. If you can't prove a tactic has been successful without wasting money, it will be even more difficult to prove it's been successful, or more budget is needed to try again. [si_blog_banner_cta] Here are 8 pre-made templates for annual planning and monthly monitoring:

Budget summary and monthly budget tracker

Understanding the share of your budget is important in knowing where your money is being spent against what channel is providing better results. Seeing a visual of this in one place…

How to define an appropriate budget for digital transformation - one that’s realistic yet takes into consideration the aspirations of and opportunities available to your organization

This a difficult balancing act, and never more so than for digital transformation projects. Here, we share some tips to deliver you a budget that effectively serves your transformation aims, helping you maximize the impact of your initiatives. With so many different moving parts, digital transformation projects require a rock-solid foundation from which to build - including a budget that accurately reflects the scale and complexity of the initiative, while remaining achievable and realistic. However defining such a budget - not to mention getting it signed off - can be challenging. We’ve all heard the horror stories of projects going over budget, stalling, or even being abandoned altogether. If you’re currently in the early stages of your digital transformation journey and want to avoid a similar fate, this…

5 Options for charging fees and paying for agency resource

There are a wide range of marketing agency costing and budgeting options for marketers to consider when outsourcing their marketing activities. The fees model used will vary by both type of agency and client engagement as you seek to agree what is a practical, mutually beneficial remuneration mix. Whichever model(s) you use, an agency or consultancy should ensure that all elements of activity are captured and you minimise working ‘for free’ e.g ‘giving away thinking’ in order to secure production work. I say costing model(s) since it’s common practice for an agency to have a preferred approach, but to vary it on a case-­by-­case basis depending on clients requirements and expectations. How much you should charge clients for specific elements of work that you undertake will be based on a range of factors e.g. your fixed overheads (office rent, management salaries etc),…

Eliminate bloated bottom lines by adopting a zero-based budgeting approach

The ability to develop an efficient and effective budgeting and forecasting process requires extensive experience and on-the-job training that can take years before your boss finally - if ever - says, “You don’t need me anymore.” Accurate forecasting (even close to being in the ballpark) is the hallmark of the great marketers I have worked with. Sadly, I can count them on one hand. In addition to a wide-ranging combination of consumer, channel, process, and delivery knowledge, they were also comfortable and capable in the numbers department. Although we’ve introduced different forecasting techniques to brief marketers on how to use a more data-driven approach, the concept of zero-based budgeting is becoming a popular technique. As campaigns running all around us right now prove, anyone, can invest/spend/blow (take your pick) money that flows from the magic money tree that…

Marketers can no longer afford to make 12-month marketing plans and review them annually. The agile approach of marketing enables them to review the performance of their campaigns every 2 weeks, recalibrate the process and iterate accordingly

There was a time when marketing was fairly simple. If you covered print, radio and television, your marketing campaign was in good shape. Marketing plans were made annually and were rarely changed. With those simpler days gone, marketing is evolving at a supersonic pace. Most marketers still work on quarterly plans. However, in this digital world, a lot of change happens in 90 days. Marketing teams need to respond accordingly. For example, team one measures, iterates and recalibrates their process every two weeks instead of a quarter. Team two only adjusts their plan every quarter. Team one is 543% faster and delivers 6x more often. Sounds efficient, right? While agile methods deliver at this rate, traditional marketing won’t allow you…

Businesses will always need specialist digital skills

So, Mark Ritson believes it’s time to shut down digital marketing teams for good. I disagree. Why? For the simple reason that for businesses to compete, digital marketing demands excellence in specific digital skills, which are integrated throughout marketing. For me, larger businesses need a core digital team or Digital Marketing Centre of  Excellence to ensure that digital marketing investments are prioritized and the latest techniques are used to ensure businesses can compete through digital marketing platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, and LinkedIn, which influence so many purchases today. [si_guide_block id="84595" title="Download Free resource –Integrated marketing megatrends" description="Learn about the 10 megatrends that have already helped leading companies future-proof their strategies by ensuring all aspects of marketing are integrated."/] I'm not saying that marketing roles aren't important, far-from-it. Marketing directors, brand, product, and campaign managers are at least as important to…

Reviewing how to integrate digital marketing into marketing team structures as part of Digital Transformation

The latest Smart Insights research study shows how common Digital Transformation projects or programme are today with 30% already having a programme up & running and 31% planning to within the next year. Yet, digital transformation doesn’t occur overnight. There are a series of steps to go through to get there and the critical factor is the staff. Imagine a world where your Digital Working Party, Digital Group, or Digital Collective is in place, they’ve had several meetings and agreed on an action plan! What’s next? In this series of posts on digital transformation, I’ve looked at what it is, how to start, getting buy-in, and catching up with the competition. In this final post, I take a look at options and examples of how you structure your digital…

Andy Dorling, General Manager of the DMA’s Institute of Data & Marketing discusses some of the key skills that marketers and business leaders identified as being important to marketing teams and business success in the future.

The future of intelligent marketing will not just be dependent on organizations investing in the latest technological advancements or adhering to regulations like the GDPR. It will require skilled marketing teams to innovate, interpret data, engage with customers, and communicate the latest trends to senior management to develop effective marketing strategies. Perhaps even more importantly, it will require business leaders that acknowledge the importance of having a diverse, skilled workforce and who are willing to invest in career development for a range of technical and soft skills. [si_guide_block id="83709" title="Download our Business Resource – Digital Marketing Centre of Excellence best practices" description="This guide will inform how to launch, manage and improve a digital CoE and…

Three key insights from the UK Government’s latest report on employers’ demand for digital skills

Regular readers of Smart Insights know all too well the importance of having an up-to-date digital skillset. In today’s age of the internet and social media, it’s become more important than ever for employees to have a sound working knowledge of digital in an ever-growing digitized economy. The UK government has recognized the need for a digitally literate workforce in our modern economy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport commissioned a report, conducted by Burning Glass Technologies, to provide an overview of digital skills demand and to help inform the development of evidence-based digital skills policy. [si_guide_block id="117459" title="Download our Free Resource – Marketing careers and skills development workbook" description="Our guide shows you how to map out your personal short-term and long-term goals, become more productive in…

Just like other avenues of learning, there are many ways you can approach upskilling your marketing team

If you’re reading this post, chances are you know how beneficial upskilling can be to your team’s results. But how exactly do you go about upskilling your team? [si_guide_block id="117459" title="Download our Free Resource – Marketing careers and skills development workbook" description="Our guide shows you how to map out your personal short-term and long-term goals, become more productive in your day-to-day work, identify your key motivators and analyze your digital marketing skills."/] Just like other avenues of learning, there are many ways you can approach upskilling. For instance, you will need to consider factors such as: Upskilling budget Availability of trainers Proximity of trainers Your business needs Your team needs Your team members’ preferences Skills to be learned There are even more factors that may come into consideration once you decide to start upskilling your team. Fortunately, there are…