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March 24, 2009 / davebirss

Hey clients, we need a different budget


This is just a quick thought I wanted to get down and ask for people’s feedback on.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that there’s a growing issue with the evolution of the communications industry. And the issue is that different groups of people are evolving at different rates.

  • The audience – are evolving quickly and adopting new ways of communicating at an amazing rate.
  • The agencies – are trying to keep up or even stay one step ahead. But new methods of engaging with the audience requires long-term investment.
  • The client – still allocates their budget in the old marketing way, where money is dished out quarterly and sales objectives change from quarter to quarter.

I know that marketing activity is vital and will always be needed to adapt to shifting demands. But a fluctuating budget makes it hard for digital people to do the long-term engagement, relationship programmes and application builds that are right for the audience. The wise clients will be the ones who create a separate budget just for this kind of activity – a budget that isn’t affected by the ebb and flow of  marketing objectives.

Are you seeing the same thing? Do you agree? Are you seeing any of these changes happening with your own clients? All feedback welcome!


Leave a Comment
  1. Asi / Mar 24 2009 7:58 pm

    You’re absolutely right. Budgets need to adapt according to the changes you described above. My experience is different from client to client as organisations differ in their structure but the feeling is that for every new project, especially the long term, none-campaign-based we still need to haggle and hassle and get brand, direct, research and digital to cheap in.

    But change is already in the air. the ‘social media’ rush (and anxiety) pushes clients to allocate (small) budgets to long terms projects. now we need some good, accountable case studies to claim our share of the cake. i say patiently my friend, we’re on the right track…

  2. james / Mar 24 2009 9:01 pm

    as audience member, supplier and client, yes, yes and yes.

    and it’ll become more of an issue as agencies (digital and otherwise) continue to move into the territory of ideas that blur the distinctions between brand comms thing, product/business solution, service and other things.

    ted, who writes a blog called let’s be human beings, has an interesting phrase for this kind of thing: marketing that wears in, not out.


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