As we enter a new year, many organisations may be revisiting budgets to plan and allocate resources for the months ahead. A financial plan should be a priority for any business; it ensures resources are being used effectively and efficiently, helps identify and prioritise goals, and helps manage risks. As part of the strategy, various functions, such as marketing, sales, development, and operations, should be considered to ensure the correct number of resources are allocated to each activity, while also maintaining financial stability.
Companies need to manage budgets carefully. With suggestions of a recession looming, 2023 budgets need to be prepared with caution. Recent research found that almost 60% of B2B marketers were planning to either cut or stagnate marketing budgets for 2023, but with competition strong within the tech sector, can B2B companies really afford to make the cut?
PR and Marketing: Luxury or Necessity?
Your business could be at the top of its game, having committed a large budget to PR and marketing in the past. But one cannot get complacent. Remove that budget, and your hard work can be quickly undone. Maintaining a presence within the industry prevents you from being overshadowed by your competitors. Even at start-up level, a dedicated marketing budget can help to quickly build trust and prove the value of your products or services.
To grow a business, marketing efforts are a necessity. Unlike B2C, where the sales funnel is typically much smaller, B2B organisations rely on a longer lead generation process. B2B marketers have to establish ways of promoting services and products, whilst also maintaining relationships with customers, partners, and other industry professionals, and simultaneously nurturing brand awareness. This is an irreplaceable process that can’t be overlooked. A sales team has the crucial role of converting leads to customers, and without a marketing team to build the company’s profile, those customers become less.
How to Get the Balance
Deciding on a marketing budget during an economic downturn can be difficult, but there are ways to get the most out of your budget.
1. Set clear goals
A ‘let’s do stuff’ approach is never good. Of course, if you have a budget, you have to use it or lose it, but taking the approach of creating content just for the sake of it is a huge waste of resources. Knowing what your brand goals are will help optimise spending.
Once you’ve been assigned a budget, you need to plan and set targeted goals. Different goals require different approaches. While a paid social campaign might generate more leads and conversions, it’s also short-lived so to maintain the same activity you need to keep adding budget. Whereas a thought-leadership article in an industry publication won’t have the same immediate effect but is part of a longer-lasting awareness. If you want to prove your expertise in your field, then an article is probably the right choice.
2. Identify your target market.
Who are you targeting?
Generally, as a B2B organisation, you know who your ideal customer is. Maybe you’re targeting UK-based broadcasters, or Hollywood-based production houses? But who from those organisations are you wanting to speak to? When creating content, knowing whether you’re targeting investors, at C-suite decision maker, or John from sales, requires a different approach. Whereas an investor wants to know top-line financial information, someone in a technical role expects to see more detailed content.
3. Measure and analyse
You’ve set your goals, identified your audience, and began creating targeted content, now you need to measure the results. Depending on each campaign, there will be different outcomes expected for each one. Once you’ve sent a press release, its useful to know how many outlets have picked it up, and social media analytics are crucial to analysing the results of a paid campaign. From the results, you can gauge whether the campaign was successful or not and adjust for future activities.
4. Integrated approach
Integration across PR and marketing activities can help maximise resources and budget. PR should focus on building a positive company profile and utilised to maintain relationships with industry outlets. Marketing should focus on the promotion of products and services, incorporating a targeted customer approach. PR and marketing often overlap and when used in conjunction with one another, can lead to the highest ROI.
As PR and marketing specialists for the broadcast and satellite industries, it’s easy for Radical Moves to argue the benefits of having a generous marketing budget. Investing in high-quality marketing and PR activities is hugely advantageous, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Integrating a company that can sit alongside your internal teams to create and distribute targeted content will mean you are utilising your budget effectively. Without any budget at all, all the above disappears. Do you want to stand out, blend in, or be invisible?