When marketing is a cost centre

Or how the marketers became paper salesmen and the key competences on the company direction took over their colleagues from other disciplines.

It happens to the more experienced, too, that we let ourselves manoeuvre into the situation in which we talk about a marketing budget long before it can be  defined how much our funny colleagues-marketers contribute to our business target. It originates from the times not long gone when some marketers could dream as they liked, as they had a very little say in key decision making, and every penny, they wished to use to prepare a dinner for key customers, photo shoot or PPC campaign, had to lengthily argue over with the real management.

Transition to zero-based budgeting is stressing, in any case. To wake up one day to find out there isnt a penny for marketing available. No allocated budget with comfortable cushion for four decent campaign and few small ones. Along with a continual budget for social networks, PPC, graphics, copyrights, CMS, radio and something for smaller productions. And suddenly not a penny more. At least, one can only blame themselves. Finally, to take the plunge and make a long postponed resolution lying in ones head come true. Also to smash this idea of some colleagues that the company could thrive and grow, even if there were no Facebook, Instagram, Adwords or YouTube.

And outright count with the fact that like all ambitious plans, not all can be done in time, originally dedicated to it. You know, to get the key people from all departments together at company parties and what more, to provoke a little bit of activity in them is no fun. It will happen, after all, in days or more likely in weeks later. By that time, not only a larger part of company roughly knows, but also believes that the marketing has actually quite crucial relevance for companys functioning. Still, a primary goal is something slightly different. The primary goal is start investing money into the marketing, not spending. In short, to know very well which marketing activity contributes to the business targets which originate from the companys get-togethers. To plan campaigns with a clear awareness of what leads where and what sense it makes. To define not just in outlines, but with full knowledge of what marketing activity can help the brand metrics, how these brand metrics will in a long-term plan transform into the business results. To establish, along with this all, what marketing channels one uses and what value for money ratio one achieves.

Everyone somewhat guesses how did we get to beforehand planned marketing budgets, back then. Like with many other things, it all comes to the mental laziness, comfiness and laziness, again. To change things, you know, when they work has been always tricky. On the other hand, this is the way how the marketing department becomes a cost centre in the eyes of people from other departments. A centre that delivers on average, consuming resources above average.

And even if we wouldn’t mind it for some time, we would find it a little bit sad if  we suddenly found ourselves being unwanted, quietly tolerated and sadly insignificant.

So hit it hard and perhaps youll find out that the zero-based budget can result in even bigger budget!