Marketing Ideas for Your End-of-Year Budget Spending


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Editor’s note: This blog was updated on June 17, 2021.

You did it! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over and the holiday sales campaign you spent weeks prepping for is well is well-underway. With hell month over, (doesn’t everyone go nuts when prepping for the holiday shopping season?) it’s now time to take stock of what’s left of your marketing budget before the year ends. Rather than spending your time endlessly hunting for ideas on how to tackle your end-of-year budget spending, we’ve put together a handy list to spark some ideas!

Low Leftover Marketing Budget Ideas

1. Bulk up on marketing books for the team and office library.

You can never have too many books. With a lower leftover budget, books are the perfect way to learn some new marketing concepts, get ideas for future campaigns, and inspire your team. Buffer has a great list of business, marketing, and social media books.

2. Buy stock photo credits.

If your team consistently uses limited use or full rights stock images, load up on some credits.

3. Sign up for marketing courses and certifications.

This is for both you and the team. The beauty of digital marketing is that no one knows everything and there’s always something new to learn. There are some really great low-cost training and courses online at Udemy and MarketingProfs. Bonus: Hubspot Academy has tons of FREE marketing courses and certifications to keep your eye on all year round.

Medium Leftover Marketing Budget Ideas

1. Sign up for that software you’ve been eying for a while.

We all have a laundry list of marketing software that we’ve been needing or wanting. Rather than going to the usual monthly invoice, opt to pay for the full-year license in advance. It’s usually cheaper!

2. Up your paid advertising budget or pre-pay for future ad spend.

The easiest spend of all – paid ad spend. If you run paid ads consistently for your company or are even just using them in the month of December, up your budget on campaigns that are providing a return and put your extra end-of-year marketing budget to good use. If you’re done with ads for the year, but know you want to spend your leftover budget on ad spend, you can actually pre-pay for future ad spend by “adding funds” manually to your ad account. Here’s how to Add Funds to Your Facebook Ad Account Using a Manual Payment Method.

High Leftover Marketing Budget Ideas

1. Choose a marketing conference to attend next year and buy the ticket + travel.

Marketing conferences are notoriously expensive, especially when you add a flight and hotel with them. If you find yourself with a larger end-of-year leftover marketing budget (what happened there?), spend an afternoon researching the various marketing conferences around. There are all kinds with focuses ranging from social media to branding to SEO. We like to go to Social Media Marketing World every year. Other Potluck Consulting favorites include INBOUND (by Hubspot) and MozCon.

2. Plan and book an offsite professional development day with your team.

You can go as big or small with this one as you like. Book a venue, caterer, materials, hire a trainer or consultant, etc. The primary purpose of this day is to develop skills, but don’t forget that these types of days are a great opportunity for team bonding. Be sure to save part of your budget for something fun for everyone to enjoy and work in some downtime during the day for your team to enjoy their time away from their desk and get to know each other.

3. Initiate talks with a developer or designer and ask to pay the service fees upfront.

Have you been thinking about making changes to your site? We all have a list of “if I have the budget, I’d do this”. With an unspent budget hanging around, you should revisit your wishlist and initiate a conversation with a developer or designer. The same goes for your brand or design assets. If it’s time for a refresh, start that conversation!

4. Initiate talks with a marketing consultant and ask to pay the service fees upfront.

Few marketing consultants will ever say no to this! It’s a win-win. When you approach them, just make sure they know upfront that you’re trying to spend your end-of-year marketing budget and give them a date that you need to have an agreed-upon contract and invoice by. This way, they know to speed up the proposal pace and can meet your expectations. Keep in mind, if a marketing consultant can’t actually provide the service right away (like if they have a waitlist), you can ask for a contract with a future start date and pay the invoice before the year ends. You could also consider doing this with a graphic designer or even a web developer.

We understand. Hiring a marketing agency is a big decision. If you’re approaching it for the first time or didn’t have a great experience the first time you worked with one (we hear that a lot), then take a look at our Honest Cost Guide where we break down what it’s like to work with us, what you can expect, how fast you can expect to see results, and yes, PRICING.


Well, there you have it! We wish you a happy December and a fantastic new year!


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