Merry Christmas? – You’re Kidding!

Posted: by Moyra Burke-Smith

It’s this time of year that most marketing departments get their budget for the next financial year, so it’s essential to plan that budget carefully to ensure you’re getting the best value and the best results. Yes you can’t plan for everything, however there are ways to stretch your budget further if you plan ahead.

Often opportunities arise throughout the year and that’s great if you are placed to take advantage of them, but you can only do that if you’ve planned your budget and have a contingency fund. I know this is almost unheard of in this day of budget caution, an extra pot of money? How can it be?

First you have to look at all the marketing you know you’re going to do, so all the Expos you’re going to attend, the communications campaigns, the customer reward promotions, sponsorships etc. All the ‘have to’ things you know you need to do.

Then look at the crossovers in marketing materials and merchandise you can identify between these activities. For example, if you attend 4 expos throughout the year then look at the attendance numbers for last year’s events and bulk buy your merchandise rather than buy 4 times a year. You can save substantial amounts by buying in bulk rather than realising you’ve run out of something 2 weeks before the event and having to pay for an express service.

If you have brochures of flyers that don’t date then order your years supply in one go, the run on costs are minimal, so even if you over order and have a few left over at the end of the year you’ve still saved. Those materials left over may even help with an additional end of year campaign or be used at those unplanned for events you always want to take advantage of but don’t have the materials available to do so.

At this time of year I always make myself popular with clients by wishing them a Merry Christmas. For most of us it’s something we’re not ready to be thinking of, but in marketing terms it’s the perfect time to be planning.

Imagine a November without that mad ‘seat of the pants’ rushing around? Use this time now to get the artwork done without the stress of a tight deadline. Choose your client gifts and merchandise knowing you have time to choose wisely and explore a variety of ideas to find the perfect one that fits with your brand. Avoid that knee jerk choice that you may later regret.

By planning now you can also take advantage of price points for having 12 weeks production lead time. You’ll save money and are guaranteed to have your materials well in time for Christmas, leaving you time to plan the Christmas party.

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