Results are critical. But, are they everything? At what length are you willing to get the results you and/or your manager desire? Seems like a personal question, but it’s not. It’s a loaded question—even perhaps a philosophical question.
You’re a marketing director in corporate America, and results are everything. Everything is quantitative. It’s all about the numbers. Work days can be stressful. Just take a look at that hierarchy! So many people, so many personalities, so many individual agendas.
Dealing with budgets, personalities, expectations, work ethic, and awareness make your day challenging. Fortunately, the world is filled with unique folks who are different from you in many positive ways. Unfortunately, it’s filled with unique folks who aren’t thinking the way you’re thinking.
Maybe you have big plans for next year, but perhaps your superior(s) think differently, which affects your budget. Your need to be efficient has never been greater.
You have two options: be qualitative or be quantitative.
Your decisions are value-driven. You realize the impact of one great partner over many partners. You may not be spread as far. Qualitative budgeting is for the researcher—the director who wants to understand why certain decisions are made. Often times, the qualitative budgeter relies on reason to make a decision. You’re engaged with your vendors, and you care about the organic process and its long-term impact.
Your decisions are cost-driven. It’s a numbers game. It’s about getting the most for the least as fast as possible. Although research is involved, you’re more occupied by the notion of diversification. Like a stock portfolio, you rely on many different outlets to generate progression. You sacrifice understanding and engagement for your top-level management. Your decisions are based on numbers alone, and you don’t deeply care how you get them.
Arguably, there is no incorrect approach—yours depends on what type of manager you are. Ultimately, quantitative budgeters are prone to overlooking specifics, and qualitative budgeters are prone to getting too involved with the specifics. A fine balance between the two types of budgeters is ideal.
As a corporate marketing director, you’re challenged with the task of being both objective and understanding. Ignorance isn’t bliss. Understand your vendors and your reasons to market. If you don’t, you may find that you’re not only jeopardizing your company, but your job as well.
Suggestion: Research trending data. Where are companies investing their marketing budgets and why? Don’t just follow the herd, use the herd as a barometer for your own success. Then pursue vendors to fill your marketing needs. Research and understand them and their service. Again, don’t hire based on trends alone—this is ignorant. Instead, hire vendors who meet your specific criteria and who understand your needs and your goals.