Use It or Lose It: How to Invest in 2019 With Your 2018 Marketing Budget
Dec 05, 2018 Emily Brungard
You’ve worked hard to win your marketing dollars — so make them work for you.
Effectively managing your digital marketing budget is like an Olympic balancing act. Spend too much too early in the year and you risk falling short of your goals. Spend too little and you may lose those dollars at year’s end, potentially missing an opportunity to try a new tactic that could be your new bread and butter.
If you’re in a “use it or lose it” position, use it! There are several ways to make the most of your surplus, and build end-of-year momentum to propel yourself into early 2019 success.
Invest in People
Instead of buying stuff, consider allocating your leftover budget to access and engage experts who can help you make the most of the tools you already have with their skills and knowledge. Most marketing budgets either allow for hiring contractors with people dollars (AKA the money you’d use to hire a new employee), or with program budgets (that you’d use for ad campaigns or printing). The biggest advantage to investing in on-demand experts? When your marketing team’s internal workload increases, you can tap your bench of vetted freelancers to take on projects.
Test a New Channel or Tool
There are many marketing formats that provide good return with a little investment: think motion graphics, live video, a podcast, or infographics. These scalable projects allow you to squeeze some additional budget out of the quarter’s final days. Plus, they let you test initiatives you want to implement in the new year.
The end of the year is also an opportunity for marketers to test out new tools and services or upgrade their current setups. Because many marketing tools require upfront subscription payments for the year rather than recurring monthly payments, they’re convenient places to stash your budget surplus. You may even get discounted rates if you pay up-front. Hire a Salesforce Marketing Cloud expert, a HubSpot expert, or other martech experts to optimize your technology investment.
Promote Your Best Content
A little extra firepower via digital promotion, new targeting, influencer partnerships, or other channels can give your content the traction it needs to generate last-minute leads to add to your Q4 tally. An on-demand paid advertising expert can help you reach the right people, with the right content, at the right time. This is especially smart for gated content like e-books or videos. Want to get even more from your best content? Try spinning it into a new format, like an infographic, webinar, or a series of blog posts.
Use It or Lose It
Are you one of the lucky few with leftover cash at the end of the year? Use it to get ahead in 2019 by tapping a vetted expert who can optimize your current programs or implement a new one — whether that’s a using new martech tool or beginning a creative campaign. This is your golden opportunity to test new tactics and supplement your team with top talent. Don’t let your surplus go to waste.
Need more help getting your marketing team ready for 2019? Check out these resources:
- 3 Ways to Make Your Marketing Headcount Budget Count
- 10 Templates to Use in Your 2019 Marketing Plan
- The Modern Marketing Department: How to Structure and Source Your Dream Team
- Fill Gaps and Transform Your Marketing With Torchlite
- [E-Book] Expand Your Capacity, Not Your Headcount