Blog | Robert Davis February 10th, 2017

How To Stretch Your Marketing Budget in 2017

 

You're going to take on a whole bunch of marketing projects this year. More than likely, your annual plan includes a few large-scale initiatives, such as a site re-design or a complex integrated campaign. Put them aside, and what's left is the smaller stuff. New nurture streams. New landing pages. Collections of related content. And so on. With an ever-expanding to-do list, it can be easy to see these smaller projects as "things to get done before I get to that big important stuff."

Limited budgets mean treating every marketing dollar like gold

Marketing keeps getting more complicated. Channel proliferation and the need for content to support segmented inbound and outbound campaigns are just two examples of how marketing keeps creating new "mouths to feed," often without any increase in your budget.

In this new world, there aren't any unimportant projects. Sure, every project should deliver the immediate results you've planned for – that's a given. But each project is also an opportunity to learn, to further your support for the buyer, to take advantage of what you've learned from previous projects, and to create insights that can be passed along to future projects. By taking a few minutes to consider the questions in our infographic before you start, you can quickly find ways to squeeze every bit of value out of even the smallest project.

The six questions you should ask before you start your next marketing project

I put together the "Six Simple Questions" infographic to address three key factors you should always consider before starting a new project:

  • The role of data in your project
  • Your project’s relationship to the buyer journey
  • The opportunity to quickly prototype your project

Finding the right role for marketing data

It might be too radical to say that the key output of modern marketing is data – but how far off would that be, really? The increasing sophistication and integration of Adtech and Martech have created an era of radical knowability, addressability, and increasingly, predictability – each of which create and, in turn, make use of data. With modern platforms, the smallest marketing project can do both, as well.

Improving one small step in the buyer's journey

The nature of a buyer journey is to present a comprehensive view of buyer needs and activities, to guide broad swaths of marketing activity over the long term. Often, your small projects live at some distance from that big strategic tool. And your brief for this project might ask you to deliver on a specific metric that's just a small speck in the context of the overall journey.

But let’s face it: every touchpoint can affect the buyer journey, whether you thought it could or not. By taking a minute to consider your project in the context of the journey, you can get the greatest potential benefit.

Working fast and cheap with prototypes

Sometimes smaller projects aren't that small. A single white paper could take up hours of a thought leader's time to write, or at the extreme, a net-new nurture campaign could require creating four emails, four landing pages, and four pieces of content – and double some of those numbers to support A/B testing. Adopting a prototyping mindset can simplify the effort invested to understand whether there's enough value to take on the whole project.

The formula for ongoing success with small projects: Lather, rinse, repeat

It would only take a few minutes to consider these questions before you start your next project. Bookmark this post, or better yet, print out our infographic and tape it up on your wall. And if it works for you, why not share it with your team?

Download our “Six Simple Questions to Help You Get The Most From Every Marketing Dollar” infographic.

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