One of the challenges that marketers face is how to optimize their investments. With marketing portfolios taking on a more complex form these days, optimization has not only become increasingly important, but also harder. There are many things to consider and tweak to get more out of your marketing budget.
Our checklist will allow you to tackle the optimization process. You'll be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in your current portfolio, set goals for the future, assess areas for improvement and use the information for future optimization. Without further ado, let's begin!
1. Know what you want to achieve
It’s important to think carefully about what you are trying to achieve. Here are some questions that might help you:
Have you defined the scope for your portfolio allocation?
Do you know which products, markets or business drivers you can move money across?
Are you aware of any constraints that are present?
2. Align with your budgeting process
Do you have enough time to account for your company's budgeting process? You may wish to review your portfolio allocation frequently. For most companies, this is part of an annual budgeting process that will shape the way the organization aligns a range of resources.
3. Define a baseline
Have you established a baseline from which you can measure improvement? Does your baseline reflect your current best estimate of revenues, profitability and current thinking around investment strategy for each component in your portfolio?
4. Don't forget new products
When constructing your baseline numbers and response curves, did you consider any planned New Product Development (NPD)? This will have an important part to play in the narrative of your baseline.
5. Understand your response curves
Have you created a response curve? Do you understand your response curve? The relationship between your activities and business KPIs is fundamental to determining how you will allocate funds.
6. Test for success
Have you tested multiple scenarios and compared outcomes vs. competing objectives like short-term vs. long-term payback or Revenue Growth vs. Profitability?
7. Don’t ignore the long term
Have you included a long-term analysis in your optimization process? You may be leaving out a significant amount of data by only looking at optimizing your budget for a single period.
8. Build consensus
Have you ensured that all team members are on the same page?
Are they held accountable for their role in the optimization process?
Are their voices heard?
9. Understand discounted cash flow
Have you accounted for discounted cash flow? You generally place a lower value on receiving the same earnings tomorrow than today and so you need to “discount” the value of future profit
streams to take this fact into account.
10. Stress test your constraints
Do you understand which real-world constraints you are facing and which could impact any optimization processes?
11. …but Challenge Orthodoxy
Have you analyzed any hypothetical scenarios? Hypothetical scenarios can be illuminating to analyze and can help you question whether constraints are real and whether you should consider doing anything about them.
Congratulations! You’ve checked off the boxes! If you’d like to discuss any of the above points or would like some guidance on allocation decisions, please get in touch with us – we’d be delighted to help you get on the right path to optimizing your marketing spend.
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