The U.S. Government just handed U.S. corporations a huge tax decrease for 2018 and beyond. The top tax rate is going from 35% to 21%. If your marketing experience is like mine, you probably haven’t spent a ton of time focusing on your effective corporate tax rate. But with this tax rate change, you have a huge opportunity. Don’t miss it.

You’d better believe that your finance departments have been doing “what if” planning for this possibility. AT&T, Boeing and Wells Fargo have already announced some plans. You need to raise your hand, heck raise both hands, and make the case for why your company should increase marketing, reinvest in your brand and reinvigorate growth in the company. As you well know, once dollars get moved to profit, they never come back to marketing. So get busy.

Here are five specific thought starters:

1. Get commitment to that additional headcount you’ve been seeking.

Content writers, marketing operations, SEO and SEM experts, media buyers, analytics wizards… I’m sure you know what your team needs. Now is a perfect time to ask again for the headcount you’ve been seeking to round out your team. Making these hiring commitments as part of a bigger corporate strategy is a good PR move as well.

2. Refill your test and learn budget back to the 10-15% where it should be (some orgs go as high as 25%.)

Unfortunately, testing budgets often get squeezed during the budgeting process. Get that budget pool back where it needs to be. The simple financial argument here, even if you don’t have specific test ideas lined up yet, is to create a testing reserve. Agree with finance that you’ll get alignment to test opportunities as they arise. If the opportunities don’t materialize, the dollars can always be moved to profit later.

3. Increase your monthly media reach.

Whether you are dark during certain times of year, have trimmed reach to near-threshold levels, or are relying on flighting patterns to stretch your budget, now is a great time to get whole or closer to it.

4. Increase your measurement and analytics investment.

The only way to improve future results is to know what’s working and what’s not. Here you can lean towards tools or people, or both. A November Forbes CMO Practice whitepaper cited that 55% of high- performing CMOs said their orgs relied on “campaign attribution and performance” to support their marketing investment. Only 27.6% of the non-high performers agreed. That’s a stark contrast. The beauty of measurement and analytics investments is not only do they help you drive improved business results, they also make you look good by increasing your credibility. That’s a nice combination.

5. Get that special project committed to for next year.

A prime example is your website that everyone knows needs to be updated, but it’s hard to peg an ROI to the investment dollars.

 

What are you waiting for? The early bird gets the tax cut worm.

 

About the author:  Nick is the CMO of Commerce Signals, the fastest way to measure and optimize marketing for in-store sales impact. A 17-year veteran of consumer marketing, Nick has wrestled with many budgets and wanted to point out to his fellow marketers that smack in the midst of this holiday season, there’s a great opportunity to impact your 2018 results if you act quickly.

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