It’s that time of year: the air gets a little cooler, the leaves take on hues of red and gold, and suddenly you realize – there’s only three months left before the end of the year!
Don’t panic. And don’t waste your precious budget dollars.
Instead, follow these three steps to put that money to work for you and your company:
- Review Your Objectives
The first thing I always recommend is to pull out your strategic objectives and go through them again. What did you want to accomplish at the beginning of the year? What haven’t you addressed yet? What can you still do that will help you meet those objectives? Always look for the best way to apply your budget to benefit your brand.
- Look at Your Wish List
When I served as Director of Consumer Strategy and Insights for Pepsi-Co’s Frito-Lay, I used to keep what I called a “Lark File.” It was a file folder where I saved articles about cool ideas for research projects that I wished I could do someday, when I had the budget. If you have a few projects you’ve always wanted to do because they sounded fun and awesome, maybe now is the time to make them a reality.
- Select the Right Partner
Carefully select a research partner. You want a company that is:
Strategic: Focused on finding smart ways to get the most out of your time and dollars
Versatile: Skilled in a wide variety of methods
Flexible: Capable of making changes quickly
Nimble: Able to work within your company’s accounting parameters
With a bit of careful consideration, you can extract the most learning out of your remaining funds before the new year rolls around.