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Allocadia & Iron Horse Announce 2021 Marketing Planning, Budgeting, and Measurement Survey Results

Agile, Technological, and Collaborative Strategies Prove to be the Clearest Path to Success

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Nov. 17, 2020Allocadia, the leader in Marketing Performance Management (MPM), and Iron Horse, a growth marketing agency, today announced the results of a new survey focused on identifying the top characteristics shared by high-performing marketing organizations. These organizations anticipate changes to their plans, and have advanced data strategies that prevent human error. They look at the full ROI equation by investing in making their budget and spend data a priority, and view the finance department as a partner they work closely with. These organizational characteristics can be achieved by adopting the below strategies. 

Plan for the Need to Change Plans

COVID-19 taught us that shifts in the market can come swiftly and unpredictably, and those organizations that continue to be successful are agile and adapt quickly. Currently, only 10% of marketing organizations employ agile processes, and 20% adjust their plans once a year instead of regularly, diminishing the chance they will be able to change course quickly.

Specifically, scenario planning proved to be correlated with higher revenue. Half of organizations with at least a 10% increase in revenue strongly agree that they create multiple scenarios around marketing budgets. Automating manual processes was also shown to be an important action in high-growth firms. Nearly 60% of organizations with an increase in budget post-COVID strongly agree that they use advanced technology in their planning processes. 

Focus on Data Strategy and a Sound Measurement Approach

Mature data strategies measure multiple levels, beyond basic ROI, and companies with these strategies were found to be more likely to have an increased budget post-COVID. 

Automating measurements is a sign of a successful marketing organization, with 71% of companies that had budget increases employing automated methods. Using these systems can help companies trust their data as well, and 63% of those companies that had post-COVID growth above 25% strongly agreed that they trusted the accuracy of their data. 

Companies with defined metrics, which connected to corporate goals, were 4x as likely to get a budget increase post-COVID than those companies without clearly defined metrics. These companies also automate connections between investment data and marketing results. In fact, all companies in the 25%+ post-COVID growth category had automated the connection between investment data and marketing results. By comparison, fewer than half of the companies that lost budget post-COVID had done the same. 

Prioritize Investment Data as a Strategic Asset

Many companies use undefined or complex processes around spend management and have little visibility into where dollars are forecasted and where they have already been spent. Improving the ability to view this information was very strongly correlated with budget increases – 89% of marketing organizations that saw a budget increase post-COVID agreed that they could easily report on marketing spend. 

Companies also need to ensure that the executive team has real-time access to the financial performance of the marketing team. More than half (53%) of those with a budget increase of more than 25% strongly agreed that their executive team was highly satisfied with their real-time access to the financial performance of the marketing organization. When the marketing team knows exactly where dollars are going, they can more easily adjust spend, and when executives can clearly see the impact marketing is having, they are less likely to cut the budget.

Invest in the Marketing and Finance Relationship

When Marketing aligns with Finance and creates joint accountability, the teams enjoy greater trust. In fact, 96% of those marketing organizations that received a budget increase post-COVID agreed that finance saw marketing as a strong partner, and 89% of those teams agreed that they have a shared agreement on quarterly budget targets with finance. Only 50% of marketing teams whose budgets decreased by more than 10% said the same.

Finance should see Marketing as a partner and a strategic department. Yet only 5% of organizations agreed that developing that relationship was their top strategic marketing priority. This is a significant opportunity for marketing teams to prioritize their relationship with finance.

In order to gain the respect of finance and increase the likelihood of budget increases, the marketing and finance departments should align in KPIs and metrics- marketing departments must align performance indicators with finance just as they do with sales.

Allocadia’s Marketing Performance Measurement Model

The basis of this survey is Allocadia’s Marketing Performance Management (MPM) Maturity Model, a framework developed in collaboration with dozens of marketers to help organizations prioritize, assess, and action where they need to improve their overall approach to marketing excellence. When we overlaid the survey findings on the maturity model, we found a direct correlation between maturity and growth. Organizations that scored higher on the maturity model grew faster and more predictably and were more likely to have received a budget increase post COVID. 

About Allocadia

Say good-bye to multiple spreadsheets, disparate data sets and misaligned marketing plans. The recognized leader in Marketing Performance Management (MPM), Allocadia’s budget management and strategic planning platform is the foundation for operational excellence for marketing leaders and their teams. Powered with data-driven insights, marketing leaders can visualize what’s working to enable greater planning agility. Companies like GE Healthcare, Unilever, Informatica and Charles Schwab manage more than $25 billion marketing dollars within Allocadia, which enables them to save up to 40% of the time they spend on budgeting and planning as well as double their pipeline-to-spend ratio and ROI. Learn how to run marketing like a business at

About Iron Horse

Iron Horse creates growth for the companies that are driving innovation. We are dataheads, creative thinkers, and demand gen experts with a collective passion for connecting the dots between marketing efforts and results. Our integrated marketing programs help you cultivate long-lasting relationships that result in loyalty and advocacy for your brand.