How to keep your marketing budget under control

2020 came and turned our lives upside down. Not just our personal lives, but our businesses too. And something we have noticed is that marketing budgets have been challenged by this unexpected turn. At Halo, we work on long-term relationships. We do this by ensuring that wherever we can, we bring you value to ensure the success of your company. And as part of this value, we’d like to work with you on managing your marketing budget.

It all comes down to managing time. As we are a time-based business, we allocate time to projects. If we can manage that time, then your projects will stay within scope and can fall in line with your marketing budget.

Know what you want

We understand that it’s tempting to see the design first and then figure it out. However, this means more time, which impacts costs. If you’re uncertain about exactly what you want, schedule a discovery meeting with us and we can assist you with planning your project in line with your marketing budget. You’ll save more in the long run with a well-planned-out project.

Give us a clear brief

Avoid room for error by giving us a clear brief. If you are unsure about something, bring it up early so we can look at your options and solutions and avoid spending extra time, back and forth. Read here about how to write a good design brief.

Have your content ready

Have your content finalised before sending it over for design as it is then designed according to your content. Making changes after we’ve done the design, incurs extra time and has a knock-on effect. Make sure your team are happy and sign it off before sending it to design. Click here for some quick tips to ensure your copy is correct.

Content is king

It can add more time to your project if we have to retype articles and text, or find a very specific image to match one you found on Google (remember we need to ensure that your images are copyright compliant). So, you can avoid our extra time by giving us text which we can copy and paste. Also, remember that finding images is time consuming. So, very specific ones can take a very long time to find! Keeping your image requirements broad can allow for quicker image searches.

Schedule your projects with enough time

If you leave your projects to the last minute, we may have to schedule them as rush fees. What constitutes a rush? Well, if we have to reschedule other commitments, work late or on the weekend, then your project is subject to rush fees. So, unless it really is a rush, allow the right amount of time for your project. In addition, remember that unless you have a dedicated designer on our team with block-booked time, you will need to be scheduled in.

Be cautious of changing the scope after your project has started

You may have originally decided on a one-page website or a 60-second video, but then decided that you need to add more pages, or do two 30-second videos. Changing the scope of the project means it needs to be re-evaluated. Sometimes changing scope doesn’t affect our time, but other times it does. You can read more about avoiding scope creep and hidden costs here.

Decide carefully if you really need it editable

We can design projects in editable documents such as Microsoft Word, but it does have an impact on the design capacity, as Word is not a design software. It’s also not a primary software for us, so we aren’t as fast as we are in our design applications. And, most importantly, Word is affected by the computer it’s opened on – so what may look great on ours, may not on yours.

Limit revisions

This comes back to having your content correct before sending it to us. Each time we have to open the document and make revisions, it’s incurring time. And if content or images are changed, then the rest of the document/video, etc. may then need to be reflowed accordingly. So, what may seem like a quick change to you, could have serious time consequences and affect your marketing budget.

Be decisive

Limit the amount of decision makers on your team. The more decision makers, the more time the project will take and the higher the cost of it. Make fair, professional decisions based on your target consumer and not on your personal preference, and then stick with those decisions.

Marketing budget tip

Trust your design and marketing team

Design is subjective. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out personal likes and what your target market likes. Trust your design team – collectively we’ve been doing this for more than 93 years (eish!). By the time you see your design, we’ve considered imagery, typestyles, placement, formatting and design elements. We always welcome collaborative input, but remember that if we are to interpret your exact design whilst still maintaining the correct technical and design principle standards, this is where time can stack up.

COVID-19 timing

This is our most serious concern. We need to be prepared that one of our team members may fall ill with COVID-19. If they do, it will have an effect on projects. Whilst we’ll move the earth to avoid impact on our client’s work, we can’t rule it out. So please, during this pandemic, ensure that you have sufficient time on the project milestones for unforeseen delays. In addition, we’d urge you to plan your own team work to ensure that if one of your team member’s are affected, that you can manage their load too.

As always, the hugest thank you to our loyal clients and friends. Please remember we’re here at all times to assist you.