Take Control of Your (Marketing) Life

Shannon Fitzgerald-Lussier
April 26, 2019

So much in the world was outside our control in the last year. While the majority of us can’t control larger world factors like the pandemic, we can and should look for other areas to gain better control; to regain a sense of calm. 

Where can you start to take back control? We recommend your marketing budget. Sound scary? Impossible? It’s not! Below we break down some common budget concerns and give you the steps to take control of your marketing investments:

My Budget is Outside My Control

A common issue we hear from marketers is that they have zero control over their budget. Although lack of control is common, there are a number of issues causing it–sometimes even multiple issues. The most common budget issues plaguing marketers are:

  • Information is stuck in multiple systems and spreadsheets
  • The PO process overcomplicates and confuses matters
  • Finance has a white-knuckle grip on the purse strings
  • No direct access to budget, updates are shared on a need-to-know basis

Underneath all of this is a deeper issue: if marketers don’t have control over their own budgets, how can they do their jobs confidently? Uptempo’s mission is to bring confidence and control to every marketer. When all marketers are empowered to do their jobs to the fullest potential, that’s when the whole organization really thrives. 

But how do we get there?

Marketers Need their Own Tools to Effectively Manage Their Budgets

Marketers are not finance specialists, so why are they being asked to use the same tools as Finance? 

Marketing needs automated access to financial data to efficiently manage their investments and align them with their plans and budget. Access to investment details will help marketers be more proactive and agile with their spend decisions. Marketers can’t react to data they receive weeks after the end of a quarter–it’s too late.

We’re not talking about completely doing away with all processes or financial approvals. We’re saying that marketers need their own system where they can see their investments aligned to program plans. Marketers need real-time insights into their actual spend so they can quickly compare it to what’s been forecasted, committed, and where they have wiggle room to invest in optimizing programs.  Spreadsheets are outdated, and they’re not scalable. Marketers deserve better. 

What Does the Dream Marketing Finance Platform Look Like?

An ideal system allows marketers to manage budget, forecast, and actuals within a permissions-based platform–the perfect balance of control and oversight. Access and control over all their investment information at the touch of a finger.

This allows marketers to identify flex opportunities within their budget, and empowers them to shift dollars between programs, geos or business units as needed. Of course, in order to see these opportunities there needs to be a way to import actuals data from whatever ERP system Finance is using. Connecting marketing plans and budgets to actuals from Finance will create an automated source of financial marketing data that will better align both teams to create more impact.

And if your information is easily accessible, shouldn’t it be easier to input in the first place? What if you could create a PO from where you just finalized your budget for the quarter? Imagine how much better life would be if you didn’t have to enter the same details into a project management system, marketing automation tool, and CRM platform. Integrations are the next step in building out your tech stack. 

Your ideal platform isn’t just about budgets: it’s about running marketing effectively. It should be a foundational system that informs and integrates with the rest of your marketing tools.

Take Control of Your Marketing Budget and Empower Your Team

Referring to these investments as the “marketing budget” implies a level of ownership–let’s give marketers that ownership. By giving marketers better control over their budgets, they are:

  • Able to align their plans and budgets with financial data, rather than trying to work with half the picture
  • Better able to see when they are over or under spending on an activity or marketing channel
  • Able to move dollars quickly when new opportunities arise
  • Saving time accessing the information directly, rather than spending time with manual and time-consuming tasks
  • Proactive and agile with their investments due to the increased level of information available

60% of marketers say they don’t feel confident in their teams’ ability to allocate marketing budgets effectively. If marketers have control over their own budgets, they have the necessary visibility to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing programs. 

And taking back control here will help all of us gain a bigger sense of calm in a world that is so out of our control.

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