I recall an ex-boss of mine saying; “the sign of a good leader is to hire people that are better than you.”
I also remembered another of my bosses providing me with a marketing budget that allowed me the opportunity to help grow – let’s call it the ‘Marketing Innovation Budget.’
Yes, I was very fortunate, I had great bosses that allowed me to sometimes use my initiative outside of the annual marketing strategy, so that I could respond to opportunities that would present themselves to me and the company.
So what exactly is a Marketing Innovation Budget?
The Marketing Innovation Budget (MIB) is a ‘small’ pot of money that allows any member of staff to access and sign up to a class, register for a networking event, learn and understand a new marketing platform, which will help to promote and build the business. Some larger businesses align this budget with their Research and Development Budget (R&D), but if you do not have that kind of capacity and resources, your MIB is a great way to help integrate new tools and opportunities into your business, without the large spend.
Unlike the main marketing budget, where a full blown strategy is put in place and delivered upon, against checks and balances, your Marketing Innovation Budget (usually about 3% of the overall marketing budget), sits as a separate pool of money available to your staff and team to access technology and innovation.
In this fast moving technological age, there is always the shiny new platform to try. However, as the Company Director, Business Owner, etc., you only have so many hours in the day to be able to learn, absorb and ascertain which are the best tools for the business.
However, your MIB gives your team (regardless of the size) permission, to be the eyes and ears on the ground, learn and access some of those innovations and trial them for you, without too much red tape.
There are two key reasons for having a MIB for your business:
- It helps all members of staff to participate in the overall growth of the company, without having the hard work of going through a long drawn out approval process.
- You increase productivity within your company. Research has shown, that when staff feel empowered to make certain choices on their own, you increase staff engagement, retention and productivity.
In today’s society, where technology, innovation and creativity are moving at the speed of light, and opportunities can pass you by at the very same speed, it is important to provide your team with a safe and empowering space for them to help you ascertain, suggest and sometimes implement some of these ideas into the business. It can be as varied as attending a different type of networking event, to signing up to a webinar, registering for a workshop to learning and trialing a new live streaming platform.
In the world of PR and Marketing, we are constantly being enticed with new tools and quirky trends. However, I know, that there is no way you can filter through all of these and still be fully productive in your business.
You have to empower your team, allow them into the heart of the company and help them to source great tools to help you build and connect with your customers.
This clip from Marcus Lemonis echos exactly what this article states.
As a leader, here are three questions you should ask yourself?
- Do you have a Marketing Innovation Budget?
- How do you implement it into your business?
- Are you open to giving your staff more flexibility and freedom to help your business grow?