Guides and Templates

Zero-based budgeting for marketing briefing

How agile budgeting can be applied to all digital channels to save costs and optimize revenue generation

How will this briefing help me and my business?

Budgeting and forecasting is one of the biggest skills gaps in digital marketing, that's why many businesses fall back on traditional methods of budgeting for the future – increasing budgets incrementally or basing it on revenue. This process neglects the fact that the coming year is highly unlikely to be a repeat of the last, old expenses can be forgotten about, and overall spending can inflate as teams adopt a ‘use it or lose it’ mentality to ensure the next period’s budget is adequate.

By adopting zero-based budgeting (ZBB), you can create more accurate budgets that more accurately reflect your company’s upcoming challenges, activities, and aspirations. It's a flexible approach to budgeting that can be applied across all of your internal departments and digital media channels, encouraging you to look closer at what's worked in the past, what you current priorities are, and how you want to grow your marketing capabilities.

How is this briefing structured?

This briefing will give you an introduction to the world of zero-based budgeting before explaining:

  • What zero-based budgeting is, how it compares to traditional budgeting, and how it can help your business
  • How to adopt zero-based budgeting
  • How to identify cost drivers and justify recurring investment
  • How you can prepare to transition your current budgeting to a ZBB approach
  • How to approach optimizing costs and revenue generation

Who is this briefing for?

This briefing has been written for any professional marketer that manages a departmental or channel budget. This includes:

  • Digital marketing, marketing, and e-commerce managers
  • Social media managers
  • CMOs
  • Business owners

Resource Details

About the author

Mike O’Brien

mike o'brien

Mike O’Brien is a serial start-up specialist and the CEO of Jam Partnership, a consultancy specialising in digital transformation, marketing automation and human integration training. He is Course Leader in Digital Marketing MSc at UWL and a Fellow of both CIM and the IDM. He has a unique combination of award-winning experience in brand, direct and digital marketing and has contributed articles on creativity and agency development in books by Dave Chaffey and P R Smith. He is an established keynote speaker at MarTech events where his subject is using AI to increase human productivity.  He has worked as a professional trainer in Digital Strategy, Planning, SEO, PPC, Display, Affiliate, Email, Mobile, Social, Content, Briefing, Budgeting and Forecasting for more than 20 of his 40 years in marketing.

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