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Surplus Budget: It’s not the Nightmare Before Christmas

Posted by Gary Whitaker on November 11, 2015 at 9:30 AM
Gary Whitaker

Christmas at Disney Blog Header Surplus Budget

For most people, getting a wad of spare cash before Christmas is a cause for celebration and excitement. For marketers, the buzz isn’t that electrifying. We’re not Scrooge, so why are we so cranky at this time of year?

Well, it’s because it’s not our money, and it comes with an expiry date. Budgets are readjusted throughout the year, and at the end of November or early December, marketing receives the year’s  accrued leftovers. Which is fantastic, but very seldom planned.

The great thing about last-minute spend is that it doesn’t have to be done with last-minute plans.

Planning to spend budget you don’t have yet is perfectly acceptable, because you know - just like Boxing Day and gammon leftovers - it’s coming. Draft some contingency plans and think outside the box to simplify the process.

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When the budget comes in, use these 5 suggestions to get it out again with maximum benefit, without the stress:

1.     UPGRADE

Have you been looking to upgrade your current services, software packages, or reporting? Use the extra budget to improve your services, and reap the rewards in January.



Crowd-sourcing ideas is a great plan – whether with other agencies, freelancers, or your client base. Buying these ideas now will give you new strategies, concepts, and design elements to kick off in the New Year.


Invest in some quick-turnaround media that is not production-heavy to boost your holiday content and messaging. Some examples:

    • Get a radio campaign going, with live reads by DJs, giveaways, and special promotions.
    • Set up a Google Adwords campaign to boost your website traffic over the holidays.
    • Kick off your location-based advertising with Google Maps – the easier it is to find you, the       more likely you’ll be on the Christmas wishlist.
    • Do a little extra social media run, and boost your blogs by repurposing and repositioning           existing content.
    • Discuss setting up and planning an Inbound content marketing plan with your agency.


This is a great time to stock up on giveaways and client gifts that you know you’ll need in the New Year. You’ll have your prizes and merchandise ready for future activities, and ease up some time in January.


Do some workshopping of ideas with your agency, and pay for quality time with your strategy for next year. Don’t be afraid to invest in brainpower, especially at this time of year, where some creative thinking will give your team a valuable and much-needed boost.

When you know what you’re expecting, and you have some options lined up and ready to go, the inevitable panic becomes… less inevitable.

For more festive marketing hacks, sign up to our blog. We look forward to having you!

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