Is budget planning and proving marketing’s value an intimidating scenario? You’re not alone. CMOs feel the same way with 45% of marketing leaders reporting increased pressure from CFOs to prove the impact of their efforts. The common challenges in marketing budget planning heard from marketing leaders are how will marketing dollars deliver business objectives, or what will my marketing spend give me in return? Or any one of the following challenges we’ve heard or said before:
- It’s a lengthy process that takes months of alignment with several stakeholders
- Budgets getting stripped back for numerous reasons
- Back and forth discussion with finance on what it takes to hit targets
There are too many unknown variables in the world, in addition to complex marketing organizations supporting numerous stakeholders and the dynamics of marketing spending across dozens of media channels. It’s time to turn things around and embrace the budget planning season with a renewed focus. Marketers can drive the conversation and build partnerships with CFOs and the rest of the business to create trust and confidence for the long haul. Marketers can leverage the power of Commercial Analytics for their budget planning season. Commercial Analytics is a customer-centric approach to evaluate the entire business – brand, customer, product, operational and external factors to produce strategic and tactical recommendations. This depth of detail makes planning more accurate and trustworthy.
To plan your budget effectively, you should look at a range of scenarios and assess the risks and opportunities so that you have the best assumptions and forecasts to deliver on success, and pivot when necessary.
But it’s challenging to plan with competing objectives and priorities
Marketers today face the intricate challenge of balancing multiple, often conflicting objectives. On the one hand, they are tasked with driving short-term results and immediate revenue generation to meet quarterly targets. On the other, they must prioritize long-term brand-building and customer relationship development to secure the organization's future. Resources and budgets need to be allocated across these competing objectives, leaving marketers in a delicate balancing act. Striking the right equilibrium between short-term gains and long-term sustainability is a nuanced task, requiring meticulous planning. Advanced planning and agility become a marketer’s best friend when you can consider all scenarios and deliver budget recommendations to meet those needs.
GPS-E's future-looking planning features
Marketers can leverage powerful, forward-looking decisioning platforms like Analytic Partners’ GPS Enterprise (GPS-E). Within GPS-E, marketers can move away from relying on report cards to forward-looking, data-driven decisioning. This approach offers both breadth and depth of insight while maintaining speed and scalability to establish a single source of truth that every stakeholder can turn to. Its versatility enables quick and flexible scenario planning at any level or in any combination of business parameters – regions, brands, segments, channels, and more.
Evaluate multiple business objectives in one scenario to speed up time-to-decision
To showcase impact on the business, marketers can utilize GPS-E's multi-objective planning features to consolidate multiple business objectives into one scenario, enabling a streamlined approach to the planning process. For marketing leaders, that means reduced time and effort required to create and manage separate plans for each of your stakeholders’ goal. This also gives marketing leaders a means to clearly articulate how marketing spend will impact various scenarios that CFOs and other stakeholders can buy into from the beginning. Historically, analyzing multiple combinations of business objectives led to the creation of dozens of individual scenarios to be analyzed and triangulated. It was impossible to balance multiple goals simultaneously -- growing customer acquisition and retention or driving sales and brand awareness. Budget planning was incredibly time-consuming and demanded multiple review cycles. A change in any parameter meant longer decision cycles. Now with GPS-E, creating one scenario with multiple objectives speeds up time to decisioning. While most measurement providers track siloed metrics and objectives, Analytic Partners’ GPS-E platform takes it a step further. The platform removes siloes by involving cross-functional departments and their KPIs, as well as external factors such as competition and category trends. The result is a full commercial view of all factors impacting business growth.
A collaborative budget planning process to build strong relationships across the company
Today’s marketing leaders are leaned on to steward the brand forward and deliver growth objectives. That means working in a complex organization with multiple stakeholders spanning multiple brands and geographies who all need to be considered when building out the budget. A forward-looking solution will offer a way to scenario plan budget allocation within various brands and sub-brands, multiple markets or product lines, while providing transparency in how and why decisions are being made to get alignment across stakeholders who have different needs. It's a way to gain value and provide a comprehensive view of the impact a range of scenarios can have on the business while building trusted partnerships.