How to Wisely Spend End of Year Budget: Tips for 2015 Planning


For many marketers, Q4 is the beginning of a laundry list of things to do.  Not only are you running campaigns to boost sales before the end of year, you are also occupied by endless meetings for 2015 planning.  (All this while trying to cook the perfect turkey and start your holiday shopping!)

One seemingly bright light during all of this would be the end of year budget, however the “Use it or Lose It” string that is usually attached can make this more stressful than anything else.  Here are a few tips to wisely spend those dollars instead of letting them go to waste:

Cleanse and Append - Think of this as a “New Year’s Resolution” for your database.  At any given point most databases will contain bad data, so whether you have done a cleanse in the past six months or haven’t purged bad data in years this is always a good investment.  Your campaigns will have improved accuracy by removing bad emails and filling in job titles.  Plus, it leaves you with a clean slate in preparation for 2015.

Competitive Intelligence - While you may not know what content you will be sending your contacts in January, one thing that can always help your database is account-level intelligence.  Information such as what installs your target accounts are using or finding out who is using a competitor’s product is something that can add value to the contacts you already have, or to help provide a strategy into acquiring net new.  This can also help to fuel new angles for campaigns in 2015.

Contact Discovery in Sweet Spot of Job Titles - Highly targeted contacts are always needed for any database.  These would not be one-off campaign type targets but ones that fall directly into the top tier of your target audience.  By leveraging keywords or information from social media, using your budget to purchase this information is a wise investment.  This is also a great time to take a step back and figure out how much coverage you have on your target audience.  Using a solution such as Contact Gap Analysis shows you the coverage of your desired job titles at each account, and makes for a great Q4 exercise, allowing you to plan out your budget and acquisition strategy for next year.

Everybody wins when you spend your end of year budget smart and effectively.  You can set yourself up to have better results from your data and feel good about using your remaining marketing budget.  On the bright side too, now that you have a plan you are free to go fight the other parents at Target for this year’s Tickle Me Elmo!  Good luck!