Use It Or Lose It: How To Maximize A First Half Underspend

business people with profit graph vector

The title of this blog could also have easily been “How To Not Lose Your 2022 Marketing Budget (winky emoji)”

It’s been a tumultuous year and a half for marketers, brands, and media agencies. – On that we can all agree.

What to advertise, when to advertise, and even the decision to advertise at all or to significantly pull back has been a real source of conversation since March of 2020. But with seemingly the worst behind us, you may well have a first world problem – too much budget left without a fully baked plan to spend it.

First of all, don’t spend it just because you have it. Regardless of “why” you have underspent in the first half of 2021.  As we joked earlier, we’ve all had the conversation … “if you don’t spend it they’re going to take it away.” – This shouldn’t be true. It should be about communication. Speak to the decision makers around your marketing budget early and often. Use data, and science, to adjust your forecasts along the way and offer options for how to allocate these adjusted funds as the year continues to move closer and closer to a close. BUT, if you really are intent on having your budget reduced next year:

  1. Don’t understand your ROI
  2. Always spend over your forecasts
  3. Lack creative ideas

You’re not going to do any of that. We trust you! So here are 3 quick and easy ideas to think about to quickly pivot for the 2nd half of 2021 if you’re going to be sitting on an underspend.

  1. CTV

CTV offers advertisers high engagement levels in a premium environment, in many of the same ways traditional TV always has, but with increasingly more and more measurement and flexibility when it comes to being able to test a wide range of creative options. This ability to be flexible and to test different creatives against each other helps advertisers ensure they received the right impressions for their spend.

2. Email

Everyone (still) uses email. It’s ok. Say it!  But know that all email users are at the height of their all time savviness. They can carve up, weed out, and triage their inboxes with the precision of a Michelin Star chef. If you send your audience content that is either helpful, or entertaining, specifically to them (because you know them through all the data you’ve acquired about them, right?!?)  they will engage with it. If you are sending emails that give you up as clearly not knowing, or caring, at all about what you are sending or to who, they will ignore or unsubscribe.

And email is very affordable. Reach consumers for pennies per message (still). Many small to medium sized businesses are operating with very limited budgets. Email marketing involves minimal upfront costs and is inexpensive to maintain over time.

3. Take a big swing

What are the Ideas you’ve always wanted to try? The ideas you’ve kept in your notes, but for whatever reason haven’t tried? – Now may be the time. Pull together your thoughts in a concise way. Provide your expert POV, inclusive of data and similar examples, and have a “if not now, then when” conversation with your CMO.

These 3 ideas are not the only 3. They may not even be the 3 easiest to execute. But we think they can help you launch some effective campaigns in the back end of 2021, show off your value as a marketing strategist, and protect your budgets for 2022. (winky emoji)

To learn more about Stirista, or to schedule a 15 minute call with us, Contact Us here.