There’s meaning and value in everything we encounter in our daily lives. In fact, if you fail to find meaning in the simplest and most commonplace of things, then I encourage you to look beyond what you see. I encourage you to see things from a different perspective.

A recent article on BusinessWeek expressed some interesting ideas about Marketing and whether there’s such a thing as a marketing budget. Like Big Foot and The Lochness Monster, some believe a marketing budget exists and some don’t. What captured my attention the most from this particular contribution was perhaps this excerpt below:

There’s no single answer. Marketing budgets can cover a variety of different functions, and can vary widely based on a host of factors. The truth is, nobody—not even the most sophisticated marketers in the biggest corporations in the world—can say in an absolute, objective sense how much their marketing budget should be. The best they can do is evaluate their spending relative to revenue, competitors, historical results, economic conditions, and imperfect measures of return on investment, and go from there.

-Steve McKee, Contributor – BusinessWeek

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at Moran Enterprises today. Perhaps it’s the holiday season and the joyous moments we share with our colleagues and families. Perhaps it’s because it’s Thursday. Regardless, I thought I’d take a tremendous risk and attempt to define a marketing budget for Moran Enterprises.

Bear with me here, I may trip and fall. But I can assure you, I will rise again.

Truth of the matter is that there is no objectively valid answer or definition that defines a marketing budget of an organization. But that may be due to our current view; that a marketing budget is money and not something else. Something more valuable than money.

The author of the article makes a good point. But I believe everyone participating in the discussion may be looking at a marketing budget the wrong way. We’re thinking about budget in terms of money and financials, but a marketing budget is not money, it is time.

The time I speak of is the time spent researching demographics, targeting specific audiences, planning, executing, managing, and collaborating on various internal and external projects. Ever heard a fellow colleague utter these words: “I wish I had more time to do this” or “the day just isn’t long enough”.

Time is every company’s marketing budget. It is the most valuable resource we have at our disposal. It must be used effectively and efficiently to drive marketing and other organizational efforts. An 8-hour work day is your marketing budget. You have 8 hours to devise creative means to reach target audiences and to provide the best and most professional services to your audiences. Every second, every minute, and every hour is valuable. Each minute not spent on organizational efforts is money not well spent, money wasted.

Our lead Financial Officer and Managing Director Victor Moran once spoke about a specific project stating: “That one project ended up costing me $120,000”. I was not sure what he specifically meant until I realized (upon further discussion with Victor) that he was not only talking about money, but more importantly, talking about time. I realized that time can calculate money spent or used and money can equally calculate time spent and used.

Time translates to money. Time transitions to financials, to income, to revenue, to profits, and to success. We had spent so much time on that particular project that the return on investment had not been what we had expected.

In other words, we did not use our marketing budget, our time, strategically and effectively. In fact, we went over the budget, way over.

As you build your own definition for your company’s marketing budget, I encourage you to think about something more valuable than money. Time is more valuable than money. Time is the marketing budget we have at our company every single day we step through our doors. Let’s not go over our budget, let’s use our time better.

Author: Rey Oliva

Blog article in response to “Admit It: You Have No Marketing Budget” by Steve McKee

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