Let me know if this rings a bell:
“We need to cut next month’s marketing budget since we’ve overspent last month”
Budget planning and day-to-day execution of the plan are two separate activities for most marketers, which results in constant deviations from the plan and no feedback loop between your original plan and actual results.
And when your plan isn’t connected to your actuals, how do you expect to optimize your budget, and hit your KPIs?
There are two parts to this problem:
- Not hitting your spending target, constantly over/underspending and having to readjust.
- Since the budget plan stays static, it doesn’t change based on actual results or market changes.
The first part can be solved by being meticulous with your campaigns and expenses. This will minimize any deviation from your target. But, But, you’ll have to spend a LOT of time tracking costs, and there’s always that one payment provider that you’ve left out by mistake.
The second part is even tricker – To make your budget agile and keep optimizing it based on actuals, you’ll need more than just time and attention.
Luckily, there’s a better way.
We’ve created this three part playbook to give you 3 solutions, from beginner to advanced, for tracking your marketing budget, your pace, and your over/under spending on different channels.
After reading this, you’ll be able to wave goodbye to over and under spending, and make sure you are always on track and within your budget targets.
If you go as far as level 3, you’ll learn how to stop looking at your marketing plan as a static, once-a-year spreadsheet, and turn it into a constantly optimizing centerpiece in your marketing strategy that helps you hit your goals, efficiently.
The 3 levels of this playbook:
Non-Integrated: 20th of the month spend check routine
Let’s start with a gift from us, a spend tracking model you can use to analyze your current spend and figure out what you’ll spend by the end of the month.
Spending is divided into two categories:
- Ad platforms
- Additional spend – including freelancers, tools, events, and any other one-time/re-accruing spend.
How to use it?
- For ad platforms: add your planned budget and this month’s cost.
- For the additional costs add your monthly cost.
- The model will automatically calculate:
- Estimated end-of-month cost based on current spending.
- Deviation from your original plan (how far you are from achieving your plan in $).
- What is the daily correction you need to make to achieve your original plan?
Note: For ad platforms, please enter the amount spent to date (not including the current day).
InfiniGrow recommendation: Make it a 20th of the month routine. Add up all your expenses and bills each month and see if you’re on track.
- If you’re overspending, cut poor campaigns or reduce the overall daily spend.
- If you’re underspending, boost your top performing campaigns.
With this routine, you’ll be able to track your current pace and what to expect by the end of the month, as well as what daily changes you need to make to fix any deviation, but you’ll have to manually export the costs and import them into the model every time you want to calculate your status. This is time-consuming and you can’t just check every time you want to make sure your spending is aligned.
If you don’t mind automation and integrations and want to improve the model, try the second solution.
Semi-Integrated: Integrate your spending into one place
Upgrade our model with spreadsheet integration to your ad platforms and it will calculate your current cost automatically.
When you’re done setting it up once, you’ll be able to use it every time you want to check your pace and deviations.
Integrating paid channels into your Budget Tracking model (Using Super Metrics):
- Add one of the mentioned addons to your Google account.
- Create a new sheet in your Pacing Model.
- Use the add-on to connect your ad platform.
- Create a query for your monthly cost, up to yesterday.
- Update your main sheet with the current cost to get the updated number.
- Make similar queries for all platforms.
- Ensure that your queries are refreshed daily.
The automated cost updates will let you see your status every day without having to export the data. You’ll still have to manually update your plan and payments for tools, freelancers, and every one-time payment such as events, webinars, content, etc.
The first two solutions I’ve presented above deal with the first part of the budget execution problem but aren’t solving the second issue – your plan will still be disconnected from your day-to-day execution, and you will not achieve an iterative feedback loop between your plan and execution.
Now, let’s see how we can solve this with a fully integrated process that closes the loop.
Fully Integrated – Manage your spend and budget planning in one place.
By using the solutions above, your plan will always be separate from your execution.
You might ask yourself “Why are continuous updates and checkups so crucial?”
It’s simple -– your plan is, after all, just a plan. It’s not set in stone. Every day, market conditions change, results change, channels stop scaling, and other channels become more attractive. You get the picture – your plan must become dynamic and change over time as results come in.
Just imagine sticking to your 2022 plan now, when the market has completely changed.
By unifying planning and analysis of actual results, you will build a feedback loop that is crucial for ongoing optimization and drive more revenue, efficiently. Unlike other tools in the market, InfniGrow connects budget planning with actual results. With only a quick glance, you can see where you stand compared to your original plan. The changes you make to your plan will automatically affect your results – Gluing the two together.
Using InfiniGrow, you can see your current spend and how much you’re going to spend by the end of the time frame. Whether it’s this month, this quarter, or the entire year.
Once you enter your plan, InfiniGrow calculates your pace automatically. It’ll pull cost data from online ad platforms as well as budget planning for non-integrated channels.
That means that with InfiniGrow, you won’t need to update one time payments, freelancer costs, content investments, etc. Your entire plan will be tracked and measured against results, every day. At any time, you can see if you’re on track toward your targets.
InfiniGrow will also compare your plan with actual spending.
By centralizing your planning and performance, InfiniGrow lets you constantly compare your plan to your results.
By doing this, you can create a new process that will change how you optimize marketing – specifically, you can regularly iterate on your original plan, making sure that it’s always on the optimal path towards your KPIs.
If a channel becomes less efficient, you’ll know, and very quickly you can shift that budget towards a better investment, keeping track of your targets.
Instead of just keeping track of spend, you’ll have a navigation system for revenue growth.
Tracking marketing costs can be a pain. A small overspending can turn into a huge problem when you overlook it.
This article went over three ways to track your spending across channels.
The first two you can implement right now, and they’ll improve your budget tracking significantly.
Whenever you’re ready to take your budget planning and execution to the next level, InfiniGrow’s will be there 😘