My recent trip to the Australian Open tennis reinforced that big marketing budgets help you do some really cool things. You can do some great stuff with small budgets too and there is a definite skill in making budgets stretch further. Here’s five ways a bigger budget helps:
Cool stuff – The Emirates A380 flying camera pictured above is genius. Having a camera looking over fans outside at the Australian Open is a clever idea. Making it the shape of an Emirates plane takes it to another level and makes you sit up and take notice.
Experiment – Staying on the tennis theme, having the budget to not just invest in being the major sponsor, but develop an interactive app takes the brand to the people. KIAs Game On App is a fantastic example of this. Even better is the fact the star is Australian Sam Groth who is a sound bloke and a good brand fit.
Maximise sponsorship dollars – There are a few rules of thumb when it comes to making the most out of a sponsorship. Making sure you have budget left over after the pure sponsorship spend is really important. You should spend at least as much on promoting the sponsorship as you do on the sponsorship itself. Emirates take this to another level. I’ve read they spend as much as $8 promoting every $1 of sponsorship spend – and they do it really well.
Easy decision making – I’m currently having discussions with a few clients around what elements of a marketing plan to focus on and what are the most cost effective ways to achieve a specific activity. These are important conversations but a bigger budget would give the luxury of being able to just get done what needs to get done and spend more time on the implementation (the all important ‘do’ component) rather than ‘how’ can we do some stuff with the budget we have.
Tackle problems that arise – One of the best companies I have ever worked for is the World’s best property insurer. Whilst being sensible with making sure budgets were spent wisely, if something did go awry we knew we could just fix it – the brand is a quality brand, so that ensuring we portrayed that was always vital. For example, some unplanned courier costs to get promotional items to a conference when customs had severely delayed them or when crazy Union charges in Chicago meant exhibition stand cleaning costs (make that a 5 minute vacuum) could still be done despite costing way more than the budget had allowed for!
On a cautionary note, big budgets can lead companies to become complacent and less responsive, compared to smaller fleet of foot approaches. Keeping a consistent focus across all channels and activities is a challenge too, as is the corporate red tape that often accompanies making decisions at companies with large budgets. All in all, everyone has to do their best to maximise the effectiveness of their marketing investments – and putting that bit extra in the budget can have your company flying higher.
We are offering a free 30 minute consultation on how to improve the value you get out of a sponsorship – whether you have a big or a small budget – just contact me.