Ad agency Pereira O’Dell budgets for contingencies in clients’ 2024 campaign strategies

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Rather than relying on the continual quarter-by-quarter or even month-by-month sales cycle trends to guide their 2024 campaign strategies, the clients of ad agency Pereira O’Dell are already thinking ahead to 2024, almost six months ahead of time. 

But in order to accurately plan in an otherwise murky ad market, factoring contingency plans into their 2024 budgets will be a critical step, according to the agency’s president Natalie Nymark. Lately, her job has been centered around adding flexibility to clients’ long term campaign plans in order to keep those initiatives on track, even if the economy has other plans. 

“This is going to consume me for the next couple of months,” Nymark said on the most recent episode of the Digiday Podcast, adding that 2024 planning began as early as July this year. 

Below are highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. 

Budgeting for anything

In 2023, we definitely saw that going back and forth between like, “Ok, well, here’s the long term plan, but really, we have to focus on the short term plan because of the financial realities that we’re up against.” So I do think that there has been a little bit of a waffling between both. And the goal for us, as we start to head into 2024, is to really start thinking about, obviously setting a long term plan, but also making sure that we have the flexibility in that plan to pivot where we need to in order to have short term solutions, should certain circumstances arise. 

If you are at a place where sales are down and you need a quick solution to plug that gap, building flexibility into your budgets, and into the plan as a whole, is now more critical than ever. What has happened is, when we don’t have those short-term solutions baked in and ready to go if need be, it diverts from the long-term plan and sometimes takes us off of what ultimately is like our greater ambition. And when we lose sight of that that’s when mistakes start to happen. 

2024 planning is underway 

That’s the other thing that’s the difference between 2022 and 2023, is when we are getting ahead of it. And by getting ahead of it, I mean you really do have to start a little bit earlier … even having started [conversations] last month in July, in order to be prepared to set the stage for how we want to enter into 2024. Because, really, you have to allow for a good amount of time in order to have meaningful strategic conversations to set those plans.

Budgets are primed for growth 

Planning will allow for budgets to come to the table with more certainty and creating a little bit of that flexibility in how those budgets are used, [but] how certain we can be against those is still hard to say. Ultimately, the market and the economy is going to have a lot of impact on that. So, if we do bypass this recession, then I think budgets will stay firm. And they might even go up. If the recession happens, we could see a reverse of that.

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