Balancing a marketing budget is always a challenge. The demands of a multi-channel, hard to reach audience, combined with never ending promotions, opportunities to reach 'key decision makers' and the green eyed monster (why don't we have an [insert competitor's marketing idea here]) make it a really interesting field to work in.

What's always the biggest challenge I face is prioritising where we spend our money. It's a bit like crystal ball gazing. Which route, which campaign or which one off chance meeting with that client you never even knew about will lead to the big deal everyone talks about this year...?

My approach is spread betting. A good marketing mix, covering print, digital and B2B activity, combined with a consistent brand and message. 

This seems to have worked - we're achieving an average 10% growth in turnover at the moment so we must be doing something right. 

In planning for the next financial year's campaigns, the results of the 2016 construction marketing outlook survey, carried out by the Construction Marketing Association, gives some interesting pointers.  

Overall, there's a clear trend towards more digital, and a big resurgence in email marketing and more organic digital tactics. 

Traditional high cost activities, such as trade shows and direct mail, are also predicted to fall considerably, which favours a more direct and targeted set of campaigns.

This suits me - I'm a big fan of more targeted, thought-led campaigns, and it's good to have some independent data to try and convince my partners and directors. 

Now to put it into practice....