How To Start Prioritizing Marketing Spend In Volatile Times

Cindy Apt

I am the Vice President of Product Marketing for ThroughPut Inc., an AI-Powered Supply Chain Software Company based in the U.S. and Germany.

Global industries and markets are more volatile than ever. Supply chains are being disrupted all over the world in every industry. To stand any chance at maintaining market share, let alone growing, CMOs need to shift constantly. Prioritizing products and investing budgets wisely will be key to your business’s survival in today’s unpredictable marketing climate.

After doing the work necessary to win over your C-suite and establish a marketing budget, there are specific questions you need to ask when determining the next steps. Now that you have a marketing budget, how can you make the most of it? Which products should you prioritize? Where should you channel your hard-earned marketing dollars?

Naturally, you want to maximize revenue and market share, but forecasting demand is challenging. Demand patterns change between planning and production, and product mixes often need to be altered on the fly. Additionally, it’s detrimental to be understocked or overstocked because the costs of misaligned demand and supply must be offset by value generation. With all of these concerns, unanswered questions and roadblocks, we need to find a better way to forecast demand if we want our businesses to be successful now and well into the future.

Why Is Demand Forecasting So Difficult?

One of the biggest blind spots for demand planners is assuming that shifts in demand are caused by the specific external event they’re examining.

Because of this hypothesis blind spot, better demand forecasting requires further analysis of additional factors and variables before assuming any kind of correlation. Before making conclusions, marketing planners need to understand how the company’s product mix responds to market dynamics and how this mix evolves over time. They need to quickly identify external disruptions and motivators while also landing on the right corrective actions to take to prioritize quickly and save ROI.

Additionally, marketers need tailored metrics to accurately forecast future sales and trends. Detailed segmentation is also necessary for marketers to analyze how internal and external forces influence each part of the business.

How Can Your Business Validate Its Product Mix Using Updated Demand Forecasting?

When figuring out which selection of products will generate the best ROI and which marketing campaigns and events will be most effective, your team needs a playbook of questions. Presenting the following questions early will allow you to better forecast demand, prioritize products and allocate budget—ultimately helping your business stay afloat in uncertain times.

1. How do we overcome possible demand ambiguities?

Overlapping events and promotions can tamper with the way demand appears. Addressing potential ambiguities will help answer critical follow-up questions about the actual impact of an event on stock-keeping unit levels.

Does the demand increase for one SKU with a lowered gross margin? Does this impact the negative shift of the demand on the higher gross margin unit during the same period, resulting in an overall loss? Be sure to ask these questions and find which strategies will help manage each segment’s product mix to yield significant positive results to your company’s bottom line.

2. How do we drive demand predictability despite uncertain patterns?

Asking this question allows marketers to focus on how data-driven demand-sensing capabilities can help stabilize demand fluctuations and move toward more predictable demand-supply relationships.

Planners can begin to form more accurate, reliable and predictable trends by focusing on the overall operational improvement of high-throughput SKUs and continuously monitoring lost sales and lost throughput. They can also use additional data to expose where operations fall through by tracking customer traffic and on-shelf availability.

3. How can we split the products into effective categories?

Prioritizing based on categories can help you understand traffic and whether complementary groups of items drive positive throughput when losses are combined with increased sales. It also helps you:

  • Streamline upstream planning by extracting relevant data right from the point of sale to improve forecasting accuracy.
  • Manage new product introductions with the right-size inventory to tackle demand outstrips and maintain optimal inventory levels of new and older product versions based on customer demand.
  • Improve marketing promotion evaluation and performance to help you understand the factors influencing promotional traffic and better plan for future promotions.

By watching how these unique categories perform, you will be better equipped to see the big picture and more accurately forecast product demand.

Now that you acquired your marketing budget, it’s time to focus on prioritizing products based on a clear understanding of what’s actually driving customer behavior. Don’t fall for easy conclusions. Keep looking, and power your next strategy with market, demand and data-driven demand forecasting. Doing so will set your company up for success and ensure stability even into an unknown future.


Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/09/26/how-to-start-prioritizing-marketing-spend-in-volatile-times/

Next Post

What exactly is a day trader in forex trading?

A day trader in forex trading is someone who buys and sells foreign currency in one-day periods. They trade currency pairs to make a profit off the difference in the exchange rate. This type of trading generally requires a large amount of capital and a good market understanding. Day traders […]