With today’s consumers digesting content at a rate like never before, organizations are struggling to keep up. Marketers are challenged to create more content, more often — yet have stagnant (or decreasing) budgets. So, how do you overcome the challenge of doing more with less? During this “budgeting season” we wanted to share a few ways you can approach “finding” more money in your budget. Check out three real-life examples:
Refine Your Content Production Strategy
This can help drive creative synergies, increase speed to market, and lead to significant cost efficiencies — especially for advertisers looking to globalize advertising development and production. So, where do you begin?
- Tap an internal or external production expert to analyze current processes, creative outputs, staffing, technology tools, content needs, and spending across brands and geographies to identify opportunities, barriers, and challenges.
- Develop an annual planning protocol — and stick to it
- Determine the optimal production approach(es) based on your content needs for the next year
- Analyze historical benchmarks and develop a methodology for tracking success
MRA was tapped to lead this process for a global advertiser. The results? 44% savings in production costs versus historical benchmarks for comparable scopes. Click here to request the full case study.
Establish Targeted Production Investment Levels
Whether you’re investing broadcast and digital video, creating target investment levels based on deliverable type and complexity can have a significant and positive impact for your organization.
Start by building standard cost ranges (based on historical benchmarks) for the various components of production. A few examples of these “components” include:
- Video style (presenter, single storyline, testimonial, vignette, etc.)
- Testing (boardomatic, 2D animatic, 3D cinematic, etc.)
- Number of locations
- Number of shoot days
- Music (licensed, stock, custom, etc.)
Once all components have been considered, develop categorizations based complexity and deliverable type to be used as “building blocks” for budgeting.
Next, create a budgeting tool which factors in additional elements which may increase/decrease the investment level. A few examples of these additional elements include:
- Heavy CGI or special effects
- Multiple casts
- Shooting in a low-cost location
- Repurposing existing assets
By right-sizing your budgets based on historical benchmarks, deliverable type, and complexity you have the opportunity to drive efficiencies all year long. In fact, one of our clients tapped us for help and captured $1.5M in efficiencies within the first year alone!
Create a Strategy for Scaling Social Media
These days, marketers are struggling with the need to produce more and more content for social channels — with flat budgets. Many organizations are finding themselves with unsustainable year-over-year expenditures in social media and are looking for new approaches to be able to scale their program. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s something to consider:
- Leverage an internal or external expert to evaluate optimal content for driving the best interaction across channels
- Look at social media posts over the last 12 months and analyze interaction rates
- Identify trends in interaction rates by content types and posting cadence
MRA was recently tapped by a global advertiser who needed help in scaling their social media program. By partnering with our client’s marketing team and agency, MRA was able to analyze engagement trends and identify multiple opportunities to stretch budgets and drive efficiency. The results? Our client stretched their social content production budget by more than 35%. Click here to request the full case study.
As you can see, falling into more money comes in all shapes and sizes. Understand the strategies currently accepted by your company and what strategies might improve your approach based on the culture and tolerance for change.
Check out our upcoming article as we’ll provide steps on enhancing your 2018 budgeting processes.
Written in collaboration with Angela Saferite.
It’s Fall and most everyone is working on budgets. And over the last 37 years, we’ve NEVER heard a marketing professional say, “I have enough to execute all the plans and build my brands. No thank you, I don’t need any more budget money.” Seriously, through all the years, with all the brands, in all the circumstances — never have those words been spoken.
So, as an Operations Team member, Procurement Specialist, Accounting or Finance professional, Strategic Planner, or Budget Analyst, here’s what you need to do to be successful: FIND MORE MONEY!
The business environment of today is a picture of:
- Doing more with less
- Holding budgets flat in spite of inflation
- Negotiating incremental deliverables out of existing contracts
- Introducing new brands without incremental budget
- Squeezing payment terms, hourly rates, and fees
- Working with an approved budget only to later receive cuts to that amount
- Reducing total spend but providing the same or better business outcomes
- Reaching consumers in a complex, always-on communication stream
- Complexities with technology and the digital space
So, the task of finding more money in this environment can seem daunting, but there are ways of analyzing existing budgets, building plans for the next year, utilizing tools, and managing processes that can make this a reality. It is reasonable to find money and identify savings that can make you look like a hero, and that money can be dropped to the bottom line or even re-invested in incremental marketing programs to drive improved revenue!
Success in budgeting and smart ongoing budget management looks like this:
- You become the “go to” person for the executives
- Marketing and brand teams respect you and seek advice
- Teams come to you early when there’s a problem
- Teams are honest with you when there’s money remaining in projects or available to solve problems or drop to the bottom line
- You become known for solving problems and helping the marketing team and your company deliver financial goals
- Senior management begins coming to you saying, “If we have incremental money to spend, what can we do to drive incremental sales and revenue?”
So over the next few weeks, let’s roll up those sleeves, sharpen the pencil, and get after this budget in a new way with results that drive new thinking and help you find money!
Join us next week as we explore some actual case studies and tools that deliver this type of success in budget season and throughout the year with ongoing budget management.
Written in collaboration with Angela Saferite.