Budget Decision Making for an Uncertain World

Across the globe, marketing teams are faced with a significant challenge as they look to formulate effective budgets for the year ahead. With so much uncertainty brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic, Brexit, and Global Divisions, our latest event in the hugely popular Community Circle Series will explore what strategies and tools can help inform budget decision making. We’ll talk to KBC Chief Economist Austin Hughes to get the latest read on economic data, Justine O’Neill a Director with Analytic Partners who will share the latest research on making more data driven marketing decisions, and Head of Marketing for Mars Petcare and Food, Eavan Hayes who will give us practical tips and insight into how one of the worlds largest marketing teams is addressing this challenge.

Time: 12.30 - 1.30pm

This event is complimentary to Marketing Society of Ireland Members.  Non Members €10 plus booking fee.


The Marketing Society of Ireland were delighted to host our 8th webinar event of The Community Circles series. We started this virtual series back in March with the intention of continuing to provide the best insights & knowledge sharing opportunities to help aid decision making. With so much uncertainty brought on by Covid-19, Brexit, and Global Divisions, we wanted to explore what is happening out there in terms of macro-economic data and sentiment and also explore what strategies and tools can help inform budget decision making. 


We spoke to Austin Hughes, Chief Economist at KBC Ireland about the latest economic data and consumer sentiment. We heard from Justine O‘Neill, director at Analytical Partners about the importance of making more data driven marketing decisions, and Eavan Hayes Head of Marketing for Mars Petcare and Food shared some of her insights and tips in terms of how to adapt as a marketer through change whilst continuing to build consistent strategies.  A special thank you to all the speakers.


It was a fascinating and insightful event that equipped us with some essential tips and tools to help inform budget decision making. 



1. No single number tells us what is happening in the Irish economy. Marketeers need to navigate the fogs and storms of the current environment by following a range of key data sources including weekly central bank data, weekly pandemic unemployment data and monthly consumer sentiment.


2. The Irish consumer is down but certainly not out- sentiment and spending are closely linked but there are a range of different drivers: Job loss, income hits and overall fear.

3. Marketing and measurement should not go dark. Brands that maintain support and adapt come out stronger. You just need to constantly ask yourself – with or without a global pandemic – what factors are changing and if KPIs are still relevant. Keep on questioning your outcomes to ensure you make the right choices when it comes to brand investment by considering a broad cross section of factors – brand scale, long term growth potential, profit, role as part of wider strategy and fit with customer strategy.

4. Use this period of change as an opportunity for self-development, the chance to broaden your skill base and gain valuable perspective – get a mentor, get in front of your customers as often as you can, know how to navigate a P&L and get involved in projects outside your functional remit.

5. Approach your investment as an investment in the long term. Growth will only come if you understand drivers and potential drivers, and plan for a variety of outcomes to be prepared to react when factors are changing.

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