Marketers: Reclaim Your Budget

By April 26, 2019Allocadia's Blog

How often are your marketing activities held up because you’re waiting for someone else to update you on your own marketing budget? How long does it take to sift through all the spreadsheets to find what you need for this quarter? Do you know where you stand with Finance?

If your answers to those questions stressed you out, know that you’re not alone.

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? Allocadia’s mission is to bring confidence 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

Marketers are not finance specialists, so why are they being asked to use the same tools as Finance? If Finance has ERP, Marketing needs its own platform: MPM or Marketing Performance Management.

It’s impossible to make the smart decisions if you’re only looking at half of the picture. Marketing needs 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 in real-time. Spreadsheets are outdated, you need access to all of the information at the touch of a finger. So, what does this platform look like?

The dream scenario

An ideal system would allow marketers to manage budget, forecast, and actuals within a permissions-based platform – the perfect balance of control and oversight. This allows marketers to identify flex opportunities within their budget, and empowers them to shift dollars 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 a single source of financial truth that will better align both teams to create more impact.

And if your information is easily accessible, shouldn’t we make it 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.

Reclaim your 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.

Allocadia’s MPM platform enables marketers to easily own their marketing investments because its built for marketers by marketers. We intimately understand the pain points and pressures, and we know how to address them. Marketer’s need to own their budgets, and they deserve a better system than spreadsheets.