The Challenges of Marketing Budget Preparation in Uncertain Times
Fitzie, a sports and fitness brand that manufactured, marketed, and sold sports and lifestyle footwear and apparel, had been doing relatively well in its Eastern Europe, Middle East, South Asia, and Africa (EMESAA) region, with double-digit growth for the past two years. However, the business had been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, with the business forecast for 2020 reduced by 39 per cent. As a result, Fitzie's global team had reduced the EMESAA region's marketing allocation for 2020 by the same ratio. Archana Roy, the marketing head of Fitzie's EMESAA region, had to present her marketing plan for 2021 to Fitzie's global team at the end of September 2020. What had worked in the past might not yield results for 2021, as significant shifts in consumer behaviour had occurred and different markets moved asymmetrically. It was important to prioritize and align all local stakeholders for strong execution and to ensure that the global team allocated the required marketing budget. Was there a need to reconsider the well-established marketing budget allocation process and, if there was, what should the criteria be for reallocation?