Like any other business department, the marketing team is often assigned limited resources to do its function.
As a result, it ultimately ends up being a numbers game: did the marketing team generate sufficient ROI with the restricted amount of money they had? And if you could re-allocate those resources in a particular way, could they have gotten the company more bang for the buck?
The Devil is in the Detail
While maximizing a budget for ROI seems like a straightforward concept, the devil is all in the detail. In the marketing world, ROI is a subjective term – no one agrees what it means, how to measure it, how to develop a strategic plan around it, or what tactics to use. Not surprisingly, it’s within these fuzzy parameters that most marketing decisions and mistakes can be found.
Today’s infographic from MDG Advertising dives deep into marketing budgeting, and it outlines some of the most common mistakes that even seasoned marketers make.
Marketing is one of the most fluid business functions, and things are always changing.
The emergence of social media and influencer marketing in recent years is a testament to how dynamic the trade is – and it makes maximizing the value of a marketing budget a perennial challenge for entrepreneurs and seasoned execs alike.
Marketing Budget Mistakes to Avoid
With that in mind, here are five common marketing budget mistakes you can avoid.
1. Starting with bad data
Marketing already relies on hunches and intuition to some extent – so when bad data is driving the rest of the decisions, it’s a recipe for disaster. There are two simultaneous problems here to consider: (1) Data is inaccurate, and (2) Marketers are often measuring the wrong data to begin with.
It’s impossible to plan for the future without better understanding the present.
2. Failing to loop in Sales
Ultimately, the purpose of marketing is to drive sales. Oddly enough, many marketers get wrapped up in the details of their tactics and forget about this key outcome.
It’s absolutely essential for marketing to coordinate with other departments, but no department is more important than the sales team. Managers also need to make sure incentives align accordingly.
3. Not doubling down on what works
This seems obvious, but it’s often missed by marketers for all sorts of reasons, including cognitive biases.
Ryan Holiday, the author and media strategist that has worked with people like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss, says that not “doubling down” or going “all-in” on a tactic that works is a huge mistake. If something is working, put more money towards that channel until the returns notch down.
4. Underestimating the speed of change
There’s no doubt that the marketing world changes fast, and becoming complacent can lead to failure. Testing new mediums, channels, and tactics must be done to stay current, and not allocating time and resources to this is one of the biggest marketing budget mistakes made by companies.
5. Evaluating efforts too little and too late
In the digital world, it’s extremely easy to test new ideas or campaigns through A/B testing and other simple means. Because of this, all ideas should be tested, adjusted, and re-tested at the micro-level on a real-time basis. Infrequent or inadequate testing can lead to missing out on ideas, techniques, and channels that could have proven useful or even essential.
Mapped: Which Countries Have the Worst Air Pollution?
This population-weighted cartogram shows the countries with the worst air pollution, based on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration.
Mapped: Which Countries Have the Worst Air Pollution?
View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.
In many parts of the world, blue skies are a rarity. Instead, accumulated levels of air pollution from industrial processes and motor vehicle traffic cloak cities in smog year-round.
But to what extent does air pollution impact the human population around the world?
To answer this question, data scientist Matt Dzugan has created a cartogram that shades each country based on levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution experienced by the population living there.
First off, let’s talk about the visualization style itself.
Not your everyday map, this unconventional cartogram resizes the borders of countries based on their total populations. In this style, a single square represents 500,000 people. According to Matt Dzugan, the cartogram view is meant to provide a bird’s eye perspective of the impact of air pollution and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on human lives.
A clear correlation emerges: some of the most inhabited places in the world also experience the most pollution. Highly populated China and India show up the most prominently, while other countries like Australia and Canada seem to disappear off the map entirely.
To put this into perspective, 800 dark brown squares on this cartogram (a PM2.5 concentration of 50 μg/m³) represent 400 million people in India that are exposed to polluted air at levels five times past thresholds set by the World Health Organization.
Top 20 Countries with Cleanest Air
So how do countries on each end of the PM2.5 spectrum shake out? Pulling supplemental data from the WHO, here’s how the top 20 countries with the cleanest air rank.
New Zealand tops the above list. And as you can see, air quality tends to be highest in advanced coastal economies with low population densities—and being an island or bordering less habitable Arctic tundra also helps as well.
That said, there are temporary bouts when air quality can dip in even the best of countries. For example, recent wildfires on the West Coast of the United States and Australia resulted in reddish-orange skies and hazardous levels of air quality for weeks at a time.
The 20 Countries with the Most Air Pollution
On the other hand, it may be surprising that Nepal lands all the way at the bottom of the air quality list. Why is this landlocked country—home to less than 30 million—suffering from hazardous air pollution reaching 100μg/m³?
In short, the emissions from fossil-fuel driven traffic and manufacturing operations are trapped within the Kathmandu valley, which causes air quality issues for people living in the region.
The regions with lower air quality tend to be more landlocked with developing economies, such as some countries in central Africa and Asia, as well as in the Middle East.
Finally, while China is lower on this overall list, it’s worth noting that it is one of the most prominent on the cartogram due to its sheer population size.
Mapped: The Top 30 Most Valuable Real Estate Cities in the U.S.
U.S. real estate value is concentrated in a handful of urban centers. Here’s a look at the top 30 most valuable cities.
The Most Valuable Real Estate Cities in America
According to real estate tycoon Harold Samuel, there are three things that matter when it comes to real estate value—location, location, and location.
America’s property market is no exception to this rule. Depending on the city and its—you guessed it—location, there are vast discrepancies in real estate value across the country.
Usingthe latest data from LendingTree, this graphic ranks the top 30 most valuable real estate cities in America. We’ll also evaluate the top cities based on median value of homes, and how COVID-19 has impacted the market.
The Most Valuable Real Estate Cities
Out of the $32.6 trillion of total real estate value included in LendingTree’s database, the top 30 cities account for almost 57%:
|1||New York||New York||$2,838|
|11||San Jose, Calif.||California||$568|
|25||Charlotte, N.C||North Carolina||$248|
New York has the highest real estate value in the country at $2.8 trillion—that’s around the size of the UK’s GDP in 2019. Close behind is Los Angeles at $2.3 trillion, while San Francisco ranks third at $1.3 trillion.
This may not come as a surprise, considering the popularity of these areas. New York and Los Angeles have the two highest city populations in the U.S., and San Francisco is the second most densely populated city in America (after New York). Historically, these areas have been notorious for their red-hot real estate markets, limited housing supply, and high costs of living.
However, while these cities take the top three spots when it comes to total real estate value, the ranking looks a bit different when comparing the median value of each city.
Most Valuable Cities, by Median Home Value
When it comes to median home value, San Jose claims the top spot at $1.1 million, while San Francisco places second at $959K:
|Rank||City||State||Median Value of a Home|
|7||New York||New York||$501,000|
|18||Salt Lake City||Utah||$312,000|
The Bay Area leads the pack in terms of median value, but San Francisco and San Jose aren’t the only Californian cities to make the list. In fact, half of the top 10 cities are in the Golden State.
It’s important to note that these numbers are from January 2020, before the global pandemic triggered numerous societal and economic changes, including an accelerated migration to the suburbs from key urban centers like New York and San Francisco.
This mass exodus has negatively impacted sales activity. In fall 2020, or example, home sales in New York dropped by 50% compared to last year.
In contrast, places like Honolulu have seen significant growth in home sales—in September 2020, single-family home sales rose by 12.7% compared to last year. Some experts believe COVID has been a key factor driving this growth, as more people are able to work from anywhere, thanks to remote work.
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