Expiring budgets are a common thing when it comes to end-of-year budgetary analysis. Companies find that they haven’t spent as much from their marketing budget as they had planned. A question begins to arise: What do we do with this leftover money?
The unfortunate truth is that many American businesses go about spending this money just to spend it. In other words, they use the extra in their marketing budget on wasteful spending that provides little return for the business. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.
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Rather than wastefully spending your company’s money, put that leftover marketing budget to good use. For example, use it to honor employee education or further develop your affiliate marketing strategy as you head into the new year. Here are some of the best ways you can make that extra budget work for you.
Better Target Your Audience
Take the time to evaluate at the year’s end. For instance, consider asking whether you really know your customer base. Having a good picture of your average customer is important to future success. This is because you’ll need to market to the right consumers to properly develop a consistent customer base.
If you don’t have a working knowledge of them, or you haven’t conducted market research in some time, now is the time to get to work. So use the extra money in your marketing budget to research their average age, location, family size, occupation, gender, income, and more. This is because these characteristics and qualities are incredibly important. They will allow you to paint a more accurate picture of who makes up the majority of your sales.
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Use the Extra Money in Your Marketing Budget to Conduct a Sales Analysis
Customer relationship management (CRM) goes a long way. It helps you identify the contacts you have within your sales funnel throughout the year. In particular, it helps you pinpoint those who might be most interested in making a purchase in upcoming months. With these people identified, you’ll be able to create promotional materials that you target directly to them. For example, you might send out a personalized email that offers a specialized coupon for a set of items they’ve been eyeing.
Invest in Your Team with the Additional Money in Your Marketing Budget
The world of marketing is ever-changing, with the way digital modifications and improvements are going. Rather than letting your marketing team fall behind, consider investing in their skills. For example, you could provide them with a set of training courses that will help them be at the top of their game.
This can be especially important for team members who are interested in expanding their skillset within the industry. Some, for instance, might want to become more versed in social media marketing. Others may want to develop better site copywriting. They will appreciate the opportunity to develop their knowledge. Plus, it will pay off for your business, too.
Use the Extra in Your Marketing Budget to Get Creative and Experiment
Put your extra marketing budget to good use at the end of the year. Rather than buying up advertising slots that cost thousands of dollars per piece, consider taking that budget and using it to experiment with some new marketing tactics. While you don’t want to play your luck on potential losses, you should consider taking chances where you’ve thought of exploring in the past.
These litmus tests can be enough to define new directions for you heading into the new year,. This could be a brand new marketing campaign or an additional strategy in your overarching plans. Try out new product discounts with customers. Commit to some market research. Even ask your customers for feedback. Learn what consumers want to see and hear and work off of that.
Launch an Affiliate Marketing Campaign
If you haven’t explored the world of affiliate marketing yet, now is the time. This $12 billion industry can be a successful venture for many companies looking to promote themselves to greater audiences. For example, you might want to reach out to another niche your business is unestablished in. Alternatively, you could target a section of your niche audience that may be unaware of your company.
So use that extra marketing budget to launch your first affiliate marketing campaign this season. Consider creating a campaign that you can launch at the beginning of next year. Get your company off on the right foot by using referral promotions to expand your business and increase consumer engagement.
Conduct a Usability Test
A user-friendly website is one of the simplest ways to impress a potential customer. Consumers want a simple experience when it comes to online shopping. They appreciate sites where they can readily access web pages that are clear and precise, resulting in simple transactions for a digital storefront. A well-designed website is one of the simplest ways to ensure that happens.
A usability test surveys site visitors to determine what they liked and disliked about your business’s website, from content that could use revision to layouts which need to be redesigned. This information can be invaluable to your business, as it will help in the development of a cleaner site that is easier to navigate. It reduces the stress of online shopping and improves your customers’ experience of your business.
Try New Social Media Marketing Techniques with Your Extra Marketing Budget
If you haven’t explored social media that much, it might be time to complete more research. Social media apps are regularly changing, undergoing updates that bring about changes to the world of marketing. Sometimes it’s the targeting options each platform provides, or it could be the type of content that is currently trendy among users.
Rather than doing the same old same old, take the time to put in legwork. Learn what could help your business most resonate with users. Get to know your audience, conduct some polls to understand what they want, and look at your social analytics. With a little information, you can revise your future content and copy so it aligns with your customers’ desires.
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Use the Extra Money in Your Marketing Budget or Lose It
Don’t let your extra marketing budget go to waste this year. Take what the marketing team has left over and put it to good use, ensuring you help your employees and business as you head into the new fiscal year.