**Wednesday March 8, 2017: Basel, Switzerland
A major company based in Basel reported late last night that, "It's all gone!"
In a hurried press conference held on the steps of corporate headquarters, the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) shared the exciting news to a crowd of cheering employees.
"I don't know how it happened... it just did," he said through a smile, "I'm really excited about what this might mean for our company. We've never spent so much money so quickly before, and I think that is what we should focus on today."
When probed about the goal planning that led up to such a whirlwind of spending, the CMO offered a bit of insight into the company's marketing strategy.
"Honestly, we have yet to set any goals. We find it much easier to explain our success, both internally as the marketing department and to investors, when the objectives are not concrete. In the past we've waited until a few weeks before the end of the fiscal year, and then looked at what we had accomplished for the year, then formed goals around that. I don't see why this year should be any different."
After tracking down and interviewing a handful of employees working in the marketing department, it became clear that the happenings leading up to the breaking story were not at all planned.
"It's great!" boasted one employee, "I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My weekly schedule of meetings has been literally cut in half. With no more budget to worry about, I'll have more time to brainstorm ways to blame our marketing and sales partners for not 'delivering' any ROI." When pressed to explain, she simply said, "Well, we never know if our boss, or our boss' boss will be happy with the outcome. If not, we just blame the marketing company for not being 'innovative' enough and move on to partner with a new company the following year."
News of this bold move spread quickly throughout the Basel business industry, with 3 other companies reporting to have spent more than 90% of their online marketing budgets as of print time.
"We knew we needed to catch up," said the marketing manager of a competing company. "At the end of the day, we all have bosses to answer to, and if we don't spend our entire budget we get less for the following year. Usually we'll wait until Christmas and just spend whatever's left on the party, but this year the bar has been set much higher."
There are, however, skeptics that question the company's record-breaking budget drain. AHA Factory, an Inbound Marketing company located just across the border in Weil am Rhein, Germany, offered an entirely different perspective.
"First an objective should be realized, goals set and a plan put in place," said a team member. "These goals should be SMART, that is; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Both the company and the marketing agency must agree upon what a 'success' will look like. Without this key cornerstone, a marketing plan is doomed to fail, and all that money is simply wasted."
When asked to comment on this point, the CMO of the big company had little to say. He did, however, offer this parting remark, "Those are the little details we pay marketing companies to deal with... I don't need to know all the specifics."
**Please understand this is a work of fiction, and should be treated as such.**
How are you allocating your marketing budget? Do you have clear objectives and goals to meet them? Is it working? For more info on SMART Marketing, download our free planning template below!