In this article, we will explore the common challenges faced by marketers in budgeting and how automation tools can be leveraged to address them.
In the realm of business automation, marketing frequently finds itself at the tail end of considerations. Initial thoughts typically gravitate towards automating manufacturing, production planning, personnel management, accounting, and so on.
However, in reality, when a company has grown large and possesses a substantial marketing budget, it becomes vital to optimize, plan, and subsequently monitor the execution of that budget.
The challenges of traditional budgeting
Many enterprises still heavily rely on Excel spreadsheets for marketing budget planning. However, this approach can lead to significant inefficiencies. Here's an overview of some of the most common issues:
Lack of synchronization
Files are often stored locally by individual users, leading to discrepancies as changes are made that do not synchronize with others' files. This can result in substantial inconsistencies, requiring additional time and resources to reconcile, often leading to errors and reduced marketing efficiency.
Limited access to real-time data
Without accurate and current data, marketers may be hesitant to spend slightly more for fear of exceeding their budget. The lack of automation in reporting makes it challenging to quickly find answers to essential questions such as monthly spending, remaining budget for specific campaigns, channels, or PR activities for the rest of the year.
Storage of financial documents
The absence of a unified system for storing estimates, receipts, and other payment documents can create significant difficulties in accessing this vital information. It may be scattered across various locations such as user computers, cloud storage, or third-party services. This disorganized system often overlooks indirect costs like commissions, VAT, currency conversion, etc., leading to discrepancies between marketing department toolexpenses and accounting data.
These challenges highlight the need for a more streamlined and automated approach to marketing budgeting. By addressing these issues, companies can enhance the accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness of their marketing budget planning and execution.
What are the benefits of an automated approach to budgeting?
The benefits of automating the marketing budgeting process are substantial, especially as a company grows and marketing becomes the primary department incurring expenses. Accurate tracking of these costs becomes paramount, and automation offers several advantages:
Reduction of manual labor and data unification. Automation significantly reduces the manual effort involved in budgeting and ensures that data is unified across various platforms. This leads to more consistent and reliable information that can be accessed and analyzed with ease.
Enhanced real-time reporting. In the fast-paced world of marketing, quick decisions are often required. Automation tools enable rapid access to the necessary information, allowing for prompt and informed decisions that can make or break an opportunity.
Facilitation of performance marketing approach. Automation empowers marketers to optimize expenses across different marketing channels more effectively. It allows for precise calculation of Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) and other performance metrics, fostering a more targeted and efficient allocation of resources.
Promotion of data-driven decision making. By leveraging automation tools, marketing teams can make decisions based on solid data rather than intuition or guesswork. This data-driven approach enhances the accuracy and effectiveness of marketing strategies, aligning them more closely with organizational goals and market trends.
In summary, automating the marketing budgeting process not only streamlines operations but also enhances the strategic capabilities of the marketing team. It allows for more agile, informed, and effective decision-making, contributing to the overall success and competitiveness of the organization.
Making use of budgeting automation: Two scenarios
Utilizing automation tools like 1C:Perform can revolutionize the marketing department's approach to budgeting and data consolidation. Here are just two potential scenarios that illustrate the transformative power of this tool:
With 1C:Perform, authorized personnel have access to up-to-date data on expenses and remaining budget. Unlike the disjointed Excel files of the past, this tool offers a unified dashboard with consistent figures for planning. These numbers can then be used to update and adjust plans as needed. Reports comparing planned versus actual expenditures are easily accessible, allowing for timely adjustments to future planning periods. The unified approach ensures that everyone involved in the process is working from the same data, enhancing accuracy and collaboration.
The second scenario involves the ability of 1C:Perform to import data from advertising accounts and third-party services, thus accounting for these expenses automatically. Instead of manually entering actual expenditures, the tool can pull and integrate this information seamlessly. This feature is particularly convenient as it links actual costs to specific budget items, providing a real-time view of what has been spent and what is planned.
In both scenarios, 1C:Perform acts as a catalyst for efficiency, transparency, and real-time decision-making within the marketing department. By automating previously manual and disjointed processes, it allows for a more strategic and responsive approach to budgeting and financial management.
In large companies where substantial budgets are allocated to marketing, there are heightened demands for effective budget implementation, necessitating a finely-tuned budgeting system. Even in smaller companies, the marketing department may be small but mature in terms of processes, with the task of integrating diverse data, consolidating reporting, and gathering reports across all subdivisions. Here, automation tools for financial planning, such as 1C:Perform, can play a pivotal role.
This data-driven approach enables more informed decision-making at all levels. Marketers can finally know precisely how much money they have at their disposal for campaigns and promotions. At higher levels, the company's management and financial department can transparently understand the current cash position, identify any problems, and make necessary changes. Ultimately, this positively impacts the productivity and revenue of the entire company.