Objective Task Method of Budgeting

by Dennis Hartman

One of the best ways to analyze an investment opportunity in a company is by examining its budget. Every business operates according to a budget, but budget methods and structures are often different, even for companies in the same industry. The objective task method is one way to approach budgeting that can impact how a business performs, and whether its investors profit.

Definition

The objective task method, or objective and task method of budgeting, is a process for creating a marketing budget. It follows several steps that begin with identifying and ranking specific objectives that a business wants to accomplish through advertising. Next, the objective and task method requires leaders to determine how they will meet their objectives, and which tasks it will require. Finally, based on estimates for the cost of performing these tasks, leaders can allocate money within the marketing budget to each task that seeks to fulfill an objective.

Use and Outcome

Ranking objectives is of key importance in the objective and task method of budgeting. This ensures that a business will not exhaust its advertising budget before placing major ads or marketing products that arrive late in the budget period. Even if a business can't afford to meet all of its objectives, it will be able to devote more money to marketing that works toward the most important objectives. This is done while spending less on marketing to achieve its secondary objectives.

Drawbacks

The objective and task method of budgeting is the least common marketing budget method of the major options available to businesses. This is due to its high level of complexity. The process involves identifying objectives, ranking them in terms of importance, and deciding which tasks are most appropriate to meeting them. It also involves estimating the cost of tasks, and fitting allocations within an overall budget framework and dollar limit. The process takes time and costs money to implement. Other methods, such as the unit of sales method, use past sales data to make quick calculations about how much can be spent on marketing as a whole given future sales goals.

Benefits

The objective task method of budgeting has advantages over other budgeting approaches. It provides a more specific, accurate result that marketing professionals can use to guide their work throughout the budget period. Objective and task budgeting is also flexible from one year to another, since new, more effective tasks can replace old tasks that weren't working, and receive the same portion of budget allocation. More basic methods rely on past budgets and results as guidelines for the future, which makes change and marketing innovation more difficult and uncertain.

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