Responsible for a Marketing Budget? 9 Terrible Ways to Spend Your Money!

updated on 29 July 2021

The marketing budget for most companies keep on rising every year. According to Gartner, except a few sectors marketers from most sectors went into a survival mode since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020. After figuring our remote campaign management, only crisis-related communications were sent to customers. Most companies canceled or delayed marketing campaign launches, many more reduced contractor head count and halted long-term projects.

However, despite spending restrictions, CMOs remain upbeat.If one takes a look at how every CMO is spending their marketing budget, they will see that the focus lies on digital.

According to the CMOs that participated in the survey, these are the 3 areas that they are looking to improve with the help of their marketing budget: web, digital commerce, and digital advertising.

That's a lot of digital presence we are talking about. This just proves how important digital marketing has become these days. Moreover, it also shows that CMOs have become conscious of the fact that digital marketing is important.

Here's how you can spend your budget in terrible ways:

Irrelevant Events

One sure-shot way of wasting your marketing budget is to exhibit at irrelevant events. Earlier on, you would sign-up for as many trade fairs as possible because you wanted to reach out to a wider audience. But why waste time in renting a booth and traveling where in fact your audience lies somewhere else?

Figure out what your target audience wants and the events they frequent. Go to these events to make the most of them. This will help you save tons of money. Go to niche trade events that suit your purpose. Don't go to an event blindly, that's not how you should spend your marketing budget nowadays.

Disparate Marketing Tools

Ever since the advent of marketing technology, CMOs have felt the need to invest in all sorts of marketing tools. Wait for a second! Don't rush. Having a huge number of marketing tools is not going to help you in any way if you have no need for them.

A terrible way to spend money is to invest in whatever marketing tools catches your fancy. Do not do this. So, chalk out what marketing tools you need. Accordingly, invest in those tools and save the rest of the money.

Content Management Systems

Are you investing in a legacy content management system? That's a great way to waste your money in 2021. You know why? Because there are tools like marketing automation, headless CMS, headless commerce  platforms,  that allow you to do so much more than a legacy CMS like Wordpress or Drupal.

These tools provide you with a content management module that helps you create content, modify it, target it according to your audience. You can also use dynamic content to customize your landing pages for each and every customer. No legacy CMS allows you to do so much customization.

Media Planners

Earlier on, brands would consult media planners to achieve the objectives of a marketing campaign. If you are doing this in 2021 as well, you are simply wasting money.

With a lot less, you can invest in an ad tech platform, and it will help you figure out everything that a media planner would. It will help you understand which advertising channel is more useful for your targeting purposes, what people are saying about your brand, how you can use that to your advantage, and much more.

Print Ads

It's 2021. If you are a B2B company, then you should stop wasting money on print ads. Maybe you can run a few in trade magazines, but that's it. It's time to go 100% digital.

All your audience are using digital channels to communicate. For example, if you ask your target audience, you will find that most of them have smartphones and use social media than they read print publications. So, where do you think you should invest?

Hoardings & Billboards

Again, if you are investing in hoardings and billboards in popular areas of your city, minimize such spends. You are just wasting your marketing budget on an intangible marketing channel. You know why? Because you cannot measure how many people are seeing your ad on the hoarding.

You cannot measure how many people are actually coming to your website from seeing that ad. You have no idea how many customers you are actually gaining from placing that ad.

With the Covid situation, how many prospects are even stepping out of their homes to look at your hoarding?

For all, you know you are generating no business at all from that billboard. It's better to invest that money in digital marketing campaigns. At least, you will be able to measure and analyze your campaign.

Magazine Subscriptions

As any other company, your company too has a lot of magazine and journal subscriptions pertaining to your industry. Am I right? It's what all companies do in order to keep up with what is happening in the outside world. You can say that it is a norm of sorts. But everything is moving online.

I mean, when was the last time you checked a magazine to receive news? You already received it on your mobile as a notification just a few minutes back.

Why would you want to see and read that same piece of news a month later in some magazine? Why waste your time reading the same thing, and why waste your money on investing in something that is obsolete.

Many of these publications cost a fortune, and if you can do away with your magazine subscriptions, you might see a slight increase in your budget as a result.

Research Analyst Reports

As a marketer, we all swear by research analyst reports. But, for how long? There are already machines that help generate customized research reports. You do not need to spend money on what other research firms are gathering anymore. You can generate your own reports for your own brand now.

Moreover, it has a greater level of accuracy simply because it is custom-made for you. Any tool like marketing automation is capable of generating such reports at the click of a button. Invest in good resources who can crunch data and analyze it to improve your marketing.


When was the last time you listened to the radio? While driving to work? Do you even go to a physical office in 2021?  If you are not listening to the radio, then why do you think someone else is? And, more importantly, if you are not using it, then why are you investing in such a channel?

Save your marketing budgets, and invest in digital marketing channels. It would yield you more business, and you will be able to measure every inch of it.

Spend Your Marketing Budget Wisely

This year, you should take note of not spending your marketing budget like this. Spend it prudently, so that you can invest in things that are important to your brand.

Wasting money is easy, but saving it and using it prudently, takes time and patience. So, good luck!

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