It is that time of the year when marketing executives are trying to nail down – or already have nailed down – their budget for next year. Most organizations go through the same process they have used in previous years…Marketing executives are given guidance by the CEO in terms of how much they can spend, relative to the current year’s budget. They then take a look at what worked and what didn’t work this year, as well as new things they may want to try. Finally, they allocate dollars to different buckets and after some iterations with the CEO, their plan is “done.” This is a “tried and true” process that has worked in the past but is it the best way moving forward?

The folks at Scribewise make an argument for a new approach, what they call “an agile approach to marketing.” They argue that it is impossible to know what activities will be effective a few months from now, let alone an entire year from now, thanks in large part to new digital marketing opportunities continually being introduced into the market that create different ways to target one’s customers. As a result, they feel that smart marketers need to craft their budget in such a way that allows them to be agile and to change direction as events warrant. Scribewise’s approach is based on three principles:

  • Be customer centric. The audience is in charge now so don’t get tied into putting budget numbers into predetermined silos of activity. Start with what the customer wants and what you want them to know, and work backwards.
  • Create a structure for change. Marketing effectively will require a change at a moment’s notice.
  • Keep the big picture front-and-center. It’s easy to get lost in tactics as new ways of reaching the audience emerge. Don’t forget about the overall strategy.

At Origami Logic, we feel that being agile with a marketing budget makes sense but in order to effectively pull it off, an organization needs to take a data-driven approach to marketing. An organization has to be committed to use data to understand what customers want and to know what is working and what isn’t. This requires the continual measurement of activities and an understanding of their performance relative to the amount of money being spent on them.

What are your thoughts on Scribewise’s agile approach to marketing? Is it an approach that can be taken with your company? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.