September is here, and before you know it, 2022 will be over. Most days of the year, marketers feel like there is not enough budget to go around, however, with the final months of the year upon us, many marketers are faced with a pleasant surprise: a surplus in their budget to spend before the end of Q4.
When that money takes on a “use it or lose it” ultimatum, marketers can be left scrambling to spend those dollars without a solid plan, which can lead to poor spending decisions or, worse, wasting those precious funds.
So, how can you make the most of your remaining marketing budget? The best way to spend this end-of-year budget will be unique to each company, but there are some common questions that can help you make the right choice. As you decide how to use the funds, ask yourself the following questions:
What is your organization’s strategy for the upcoming year? Will you need to rethink your brand or your marketing strategy?
Are there opportunities to promote your products across new channels?
Will you be introducing any new products or line extensions?
Will the competitive landscape look different in 2023?
Thinking ahead about where your company wants to be will make it easier to allocate your remaining budget and get a solid head start on your 2023 marketing plan. Based on how you answered the above questions, below are some potential ways to efficiently use those remaining funds to get started on next year’s plan.
Think of these leftover dollars as a means of “preparation” for next year’s product marketing. Given that for most businesses, things tend to be slow at the beginning of the year, projects that you begin executing in Q4 of this year can go a long way to setting the table and making sure that you’re ready to attack the marketplace with strong sales materials and an exciting product storyline.
That story can be told in many ways… think of the marketing collateral that you will need to promote your products:
Sell sheets & brochures
Social media content
Trade show materials
Create Evergreen Content Of course, as enticing as it is to spend your extra marketing budget on a tactic that will yield quick results, another smart approach is to invest in lasting, effective content. Evergreen content, be it via “how to” videos, product brochures, blog posts or testimonials is high quality and timeless — and it will help your product marketing efforts long after the initial boost.
Optimize & Extend Your Current Content
Creating totally new content isn’t the only choice — in fact, heading into a new year might be the ideal time to invest in the content you already have. In marketing this is referred to as “historical optimization.” Consider examining “B” roll and photo archives and consult with your creative agency partners to brainstorm ways to develop new and diverse ways to use this content to promote your products and your brand. In case you are wondering if this is worth the effort, HubSpot data shows that their customers cite that 76% of monthly blog views and 92% of monthly blog leads come from “old” content.
Prepay for 2023 Creative Design & Production Projects
If you’ve already begun planning for 2023 and have some specific projects that you are ready to scope and price out, consider talking to your creative suppliers about “prepaying” for those projects in your 2022 budget year, thereby taking advantage of these leftover funds to pay for next year’s content without tapping into those precious 2023 dollars!
But Before Too Much Time Goes By…
Remember: a surplus budget today means the opportunity to make next year your best marketing success yet. While you’ll need to carefully weigh the options to decide which choice is best for your specific needs, those choices can make a lasting strategic difference toward reaching your marketing goals and setting the table for a successful 2023.
We’ve successfully created strategic spending plans for other clients who’ve put their leftover funds to effective use... if you’d like to discuss ways to best use your remaining 2022 budget before it’s too late, contact us now!