How Outdoor Outfitters Arc’Teryx Elevated their Marketing Budgets & Performance with Allocadia
“We can easily and efficiently relocate spend. No more scrutinizing spreadsheets.”
- Suzanna Blankenstein, Channel Marketing, Arc'teryx
Arc’teryx is an outdoor equipment company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, that develops innovative climbing, skiing, and alpine products. They have an impressive team of 50 marketers across 6 teams and all Arc’Teryx products are designed and engineered at the company’s facilities in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
Before they started using Allocadia, the Arc’teryx marketing team was managing its budget in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. One part-time employee spent 20 hours a week managing the budget, and her entire job was reconciling budget and coding invoices.
The marketing budget was treated as a lump sum, which was then siloed into departments. The specific teams had no visibility into their spending. A lot of line items were often miscategorized or missing. And, since the budget was managed in spreadsheets, the teams couldn’t report on spending through multiple dimensions. Getting a real-time view of forecasted spend versus actual spend to share with leadership was next to impossible.
At Arc’teryx, nothing is more important than design and craftsmanship. The company places a huge emphasis on aesthetics, and many of the marketing leaders have graphic design backgrounds. They sought a marketing performance management solution that would allow for better budget management, but that could also also tell the story of their marketing performance in an visually attractive, user-friendly way.
“It has taken some time for us to get comfortable with hanging up our spreadsheets,” says Suzanne Blankenstein, Channel Marketing Coordinator at Arc’teryx, describing the training and onboarding process. Getting marketing staff comfortable with a new budgeting process is always a challenge, but the Arc’teryx team has been impressed with the consistent training and support they’ve received from Allocadia.
“Some other software companies implement and leave, whereas Allocadia built a relationship with us,” she says. “They’re a friendly group who want to make sure the software is a success for us. They made us feel at ease, so no question is too silly. They also have a social platform where you can chat with other users. That’s a great experience bank.”
Solutions & Benefits
Since implementing Allocadia, each team within the marketing department is now responsible for its own budget. They plan their spend and are accountable for the results. Every month, the teams meet to review the previous month’s spend and diagnose how it affects their forecast for the rest of the year — a conversation that wouldn’t have been possible before Allocadia.
Suzanne says Allocadia has helped shed a light on important budget details. “Each team can explain their spend in so much more detail now,” she says. “For example, we can see what we spent on graphics or bar staff at a specific trade show. Before, we could only see what we spent for the entire show.”
Arc’Teryx uses Allocadia to track spend not just by team or department, but also by business unit, channel, activity, and brand. The result of this increased visibility and accountability is that marketers are empowered with data when they approach leadership or finance about budget changes.
And, some teams have changed their spending mindset, since they know that they’re now accountable for their own bottom line. Every month, actual spend data is imported from the finance system to Allocadia.
Now, marketing and finance leaders can quickly view key analytics such as forecast versus target, actuals versus target, planned spend, plan versus forecast, and much more.
Every marketer who’s ever owned a budget knows the difficulty of answering detailed questions on the fly. After implementing Allocadia, marketers at Arc’teryx can answer those questions without a second thought. “We can easily and efficiently reallocate spend,” says Suzanne. “When someone asks, ‘Can we afford to spend an additional $5,000 on an event?’ we have an answer.”