6 Ways to Spend Your Year-End Ad Budget

When you look at your advertising plan in the fourth quarter, you might realize you didn’t plan as well as you should have. Maybe you failed to use your entire budget, maybe the promotions you planned never happened, or maybe you got off schedule. Don’t despair. Sometimes year-end advertising and planning can provide great returns.

Even if your marketing had great success and you saw huge sales profits, it might be prudent to keep the accelerator down on the deductible ad spend through the end of the year.

After over 30 years working in both media selling and buying, I’ve learned a few tricks for milking those last few dollars from your annual budget. Here are some of the best ones.

Don’t leave money on the table

  1. Do you carry products offering co-op programs that expire on Dec. 31? Make sure you use all co-op funds that are available to you. Most will not carry over to the next year, and will be lost forever.
  2. Have a product you thought would be a top seller, but turned out to be a dog? Still overstocked with last year’s model? Promote a special year-end price on it.
  3. Do you sell products to other businesses – machinery, software, furniture? Make a year-end marketing push to promote section 179 depreciation. This use-it-or-lose-it program allows businesses to write off 100 percent of equipment costs as long as the equipment is in service by Dec. 31.
“Section 179 depreciation allows businesses to write off 100 percent of equipment costs as long as the equipment is in service by Dec. 31.”

Invest in next year

  1. Invest in evergreen branding pieces you can use the following year, or the next five years, like key messaging or brand guidelines – or initiate a big giveaway with an email registration component to collect email addresses you can market to next year and beyond.
  2. Can you prepay in 2016 for any advertising that will run in 2017? You might receive extra value in January or February with a buy in December.

Strike a bargain

  1. Media buys leading up to the holidays can be expensive due to high demand – but take a look at the week after Christmas, and many times you’ll find a great price with the same visibility.

Even if you’ve procrastinated, don’t let another day go by. It’s not too late to make plans for end-of-year advertising or get a head start on planning for next year. We can help.

Tags: Branding & Advertising, Media Planning & Buying

Put our experts to work

Contact Us