As 2021 nears its end, you may find yourself scrambling for ideas to spend your unused marketing budget effectively. While having lots of unused, extra dollars may sound like a great idea, but here’s an important thing to know. Q4 is the “make or break” time of the year as the marketing efforts made in these months have a high potential for success as any other month in the year. It is for this reason several important marketing activities are performed around this time of the year.
In Q4 2020, there were 30% more emails sent compared to the rest of the year.
Your teams may be tempted to spend the unused budget haphazardly to avoid “use it or lose it” backlash. But it’s critical to think strategically when spending on Q4 activities as it lays the foundation of the New Year.
Your actions taken at this point in time could positively or negatively impact several areas of your organization.
Below we have enlisted some tips to make the most of your unspent budget to have a successful and encouraging end of the year.
So, let’s get started.
Questions To Ask When Planning Your End-of-year Budget
When planning your end-of-the-year budget, an important thing to remember is that every company’s needs and objectives are different. So the best way to spend the end-of-year budget will be unique to each company. You may ask yourself the following questions as a starting point.
- What is my organization’s budget for the upcoming year?
- Do we need additional technology, resources, or research to achieve those goals?
- Is there a need to automate processes, streamline operations, or bring services in-house?
- What content or marketing strategies performed well this year?
- Which resources can we invest in to help our teams perform their roles better?
You may think of several other questions to decide where your company needs to be in the upcoming year and devote your end-of-year budget accordingly. There are several areas you may consider spending your unused budget on, including:
1. Allocate Resources To Marketing Efforts
If you’re part of a marketing team, there never seems to be enough resources to accomplish each and every goal of yours – sometimes due to lack of resources, other times due to budget constraints. But when you have surplus money remaining, it’s a great idea to spend it on your marketing activities because you’re essentially making an investment in the year ahead.
You can also use this opportunity to experiment with different marketing strategies.
Talking of marketing strategies, email marketing is a strategy that does wonders for a company if done correctly.
- In Q4 2020, emails accounted for 20% of all online visits.
- Offers sent via email led to 138% increased spending.
- 78% of marketers believe that email marketing is vital to a company’s success.
With numbers attesting to the use and effectiveness of email marketing, it’s only wise to consider spending your Q4 budget on email marketing. You can combine email marketing with Infographics, videos, and case studies to make it even more effective. When combined together, these can serve as tools to attract new customers and resonate with your existing client base.
Besides email marketing, you can also make use of your social platforms to address a year’s worth of milestones and demonstrate how your solutions helped several businesses and individuals throughout the year.
2. Add New Technology To Your Existing Stack
When you are approaching the end of the year, it always helps to take a look at your current technology stack and identify any gaps that may be hampering your day-to-day operations. For example, there may be roles that demand more powerful hardware. You may consider having managed services and software expenditures for a greater impact on your company’s bottom line.
For example, if you don’t currently have a project management platform, you can consider spending your unused budget on a project management platform. This way, you can track progress, eliminate silos, and deliver faster results in the New Year.
Before investing your money in any new technology, ask yourself the following questions:
- How will this technology help my business?
- Will the cost outweigh its benefits?
- How has this technology helped similar businesses in the past?
Having these questions answered, you can make a better and smarter choice.
3. Work On The Betterment Of Your Content.
Improving your existing content is the best way to increase your brand awareness, make it more engaging and shareable. The more helpful or interesting your content, it’s more likely that people will share it.
As per CMI, 32% of marketers are not satisfied with their content workflow.
A 2017 survey found that 60% of marketers find it hard to produce content effectively.
Source: Contentmarketing Institute
If you, too, are not satisfied with your content marketing outcomes, it makes perfect sense to spend your Q4 budget on improving your content. With a solid results-focused content strategy in hand, you will be able to reap great returns in Q4 and in the New Year as your content grows and expands.
You can create an eBook, repurpose your old content that did well, create a video series, infographics, or an engaging podcast.
4. Re-embrace Direct Mail
Several companies today have started exploring direct mail today as a way to breathe life into their lead generation campaigns. In this age, when inboxes are getting crowded, direct mails present a great opportunity to get some additional leads.
That doesn’t mean you should replace email marketing with it because it is a marketing strategy with the highest ROI of 42% for every dollar. So, make your email campaigns better this Q4 but consider embracing direct mails as well.
As per some research, direct mail open rates can go up to 90%.
If you’re lucky enough to have surplus money remaining, you may definitely be looking for good ideas to get a great bang for your buck. Especially with the New Year around the corner, everyone wants to give a great start to their year. You can use the ideas in the article to create your own unique spending plan. Besides that, you need to stay educated and keep up with best practices to not just beat the competition but also your own success benchmarks of previous years.