The “Now-Next-New” Approach to Marketing Resource Allocation

Currently, most B2B marketing leaders are well positioned to plan for 2022, and some of the more important and difficult decisions they will be asked to make during the planning process involve the allocation of marketing resources (money, people, time, etc.).

Allocating resources is a difficult part of marketing planning for several reasons. First, no matter the size of the company, the resources available to marketing are seldom enough to enable marketing leaders to do whatever they wish to do. Therefore, choices must be made, and the task of marketing leaders is to deploy their limited resources in ways that are of the best interest.

Determining how to invest limited resources is becoming more complex because today’s marketing leaders have more choices than ever before. The number of marketing channels, techniques, and marketing technology solutions has grown exponentially over the past several years.

Resource allocation decisions are further complicated by the need to achieve short-term results, while at the same time laying the foundation for future success. Since customer expectations and communication preferences are always evolving, today’s highly effective marketing tactics may be less effective in the future, while insignificant tactics and capabilities today may become the key to success in the future.

Finally, allocating resources is challenging because marketing leaders are constantly hearing about new marketing channels, tactics, and techniques, all touted as the “next great thing” in marketing.

No wonder, then, that many marketing leaders say that allocating resources is the hardest part of their job.

The 70-20-10 rule

Fortunately, there is a general rule that marketing leaders can use to address resource allocation challenges. called 10-20-70 the rule or sometimes The next new rule nowIt has been used for a variety of commercial purposes. Several companies have used it to manage innovation resources, and Coca Cola has reportedly used a version of the rule for years to inform marketing investment decisions.

Here’s how the rule works.

70 (“now”) – The marketing version of Rule 70-20-10 states that 70% of a company’s marketing resources should be devoted to capabilities and programs with a proven track record of acceptable performance. These will typically include the marketing channels, tactics, and techniques the company is already using.

The rule doesn’t mean that companies should “keep doing what they’re already doing” automatically. This means that marketing leaders must evaluate how well “bread and butter” tactics are performing and continue to invest in those that provide acceptable results.

The primary objective of these capabilities and software is to drive incremental short-term performance improvements, for example right Now.

20 (“next”) – According to the 70-20-10 rule, 20% of a company’s marketing resources should be devoted to emerging marketing channels, tactics, and techniques. This category typically includes the practices and capabilities of an increasing number of them Other companies successfully used and which are or may be about to be mainstreamed.

Investments in this category are frequently associated with capabilities that will become critical to the company’s success in the near future, or next one.

10 (“new”) – The remaining 10% of marketing resources should be allocated to the new Channels, tactics and techniques that have just appeared on the scene. These investments enable real marketing innovation to occur, but are also largely untested activities or capabilities. It may or may not produce significant results in the short term, but it has the potential to become productive in the medium or long term future.


As with other general rules, marketing leaders should view the 70-20-10 rule as a guide rather than an exact prescription. The percentages specified in the rule may not be appropriate for every business.

It is also important to realize that like all basic business rules, the 70-20-10 rule is not helpful for all resource allocation decisions. For example:

  • The rule does not address how resources are allocated inside Each of the main resource categories – 70%, 20% and 10%.
  • The rule is not designed to direct the allocation of resources between brand building and demand generation activities and programmes.
  • The rule may not be appropriate if the company’s current marketing efforts are significantly underperforming. In these cases, marketing leaders may need to make more drastic changes than the rule suggests.

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