Ahh Christmas time… gingerbread houses, Christmas carolers, and presents under the tree – Oh Yeah! It’s a wonderful time of year. Unless of course, you’ve woken up from your Thanksgiving comatose to realize you only have 31 days to squeeze every last drop of value out of your marketing budget!
If someone told you at the beginning of the year that you’d be scrambling to spend money, you would have laughed in their face, but I see it happen every year. December rolls around and businesses face the challenge of making the most of their budget.
Businesses need to spend surplus budget for a few different reasons, here are two of the most common:
1. Tax benefits to making expenditures
After the holiday season comes the most dreaded time of the year – tax season. Amidst complicated jargon, complex liabilities, and painstaking paperwork, though, is a little glimmer of hope for your business taxes: deductions.
Why put off expenses for next year when you could get a tax deductible for them this year?
The Marketing Squad has worked with businesses who know this approach is better for their business in the long run. So as the end of the year rolls around, they come running with money in hand, ready to bump up those expenditures.
2. A “lose it or use it” budget that you’re about to lose
I once had a company call me on December 15th and say, “I have 100K that I need to spend by the end of the year or I will lose it – can you help?” How do you respond to that? I’ll tell you how, with a great big, huge, strap yourself in the seat to control your excitement, “YESSSSSSSSSSS!”
For me, Christmas came early with that phone call. I was like Tom Cruise talking to Cuba Gooding Jr on the famous Jerry Maguire movie and started screaming “Show me the Money!!”
But for the caller, he was in panic mode, and he was about to lose a huge amount of budget and set precedent for future budget allotments. He knew he was in a “use it or lose it” scenario.
Are you in a similar situation? For 52 weeks you have had a budget to do the very things you need to do to make your department or organization grow and improve. Then, all of a sudden, like a bullhorn blaring in your right ear, you realize you have 30 days to spend your allocated budget or forfeit it… I hate forfeiting!
Good news? We can help. Here a some ideas…
Spending your year-end budget surplus
Video/Photography Bank – set aside a bucket of money to be used for the rest of this year and into next. Pay now and use later.
We are very visual creatures. A large percentage of the human brain dedicates itself to visual processing; so, let’s create a library of videos and photos that can be used to populate your social media, website, and sales/marketing materials. Let’s allocate a bank of hours designated to shooting video and photos. Stop relying on stock photos and videos and start personalizing your brand with your people. We can bank them for blog post headers, Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Dazzle your audience with pizzazz and spunk, and let them experience YOU. For most organizations they either have no time, no budget, or no designer to create personalized, custom imagery. Now is the time to start banking these dollars and start depositing these images.
Digital Marketing Audit – How are you doing?
OK, you know you have done it… strategize how to make your company great… allocate some marketing dollars… design some collateral… automate as much as you can… and then chill in your Eno, prop your feet up, and relax.
Nope, sorry, doesn’t work like that. The world is changing so fast that your strategy you picked 6, 12, or 18 months ago is most likely obsolete and ineffective now. Let’s do a pulse check.
A digital marketing audit is simply a thorough investigation of all your digital marketing efforts. The performance of all your practices, strategies, ads, and posts is evaluated–giving you an understanding of where your digital gaps and loopholes exist.
Update and modernize sales/marketing materials
Your website, sales and marketing materials, event material, wall décor, etc. are windows into your business. Don’t think people don’t notice. If you preach world-class as one of your key areas of differentiation, yet your website and marketing materials don’t reflect the same defined quality you’re going to be dead on arrival. Use the surplus to modernize your brand.
Update branding and graphic design on Social
Quit thinking that your brand is just “ok.” It’s your brand! It’s your personality. Stop being old and turn your social media into a Christmas tree of goodness, packed with presents, amazing ornaments, creative tinsels, saturated with fun, and wonderful to dream into. Use your excess dollars to update your social channels and invite people to engage.
If you have a budget surplus and need to spend it, then let us help you creatively use it. If you want to maximize your tax benefits, we have experience working with businesses who need to rack-up expenditures before December 31. We can help you spend the money in 2018 and use it in 2019.
For over 11 years we have helped our clients build thoughtful and engaging websites, providing top quality videography, photography, and creative design, and by serving up captivating blogs and social media posts to engage our clients’ prospects. There is a reason we have 97% retention rate – our clients trust us.
Let our team of Faithful Stewards and Trusted Allies help you make the most of your 2018 marketing budget. Give us a shout!