How to Create a Marketing Budget
Guest post by Charlie Adams
Marketing is one of the most important facets of your business. Without marketing, the world would be unaware of your business, products or services. And if the world didn’t know you existed, you wouldn’t make a profit, and then you probably wouldn’t be in business for very long. Before you can start marketing your company, you have to create a marketing budget. Creating a budget takes a well thought out plan. The following is a step-by-step guide to help you.
1. Determine your goals
You need to have a firm grasp on the goals you want to achieve through your marketing. Do you want to improve your online presence? Do you want to increase traffic to your store? Do you want to increase website traffic? Do you want to increase sales? You cannot create a marketing budget without first knowing what you want to achieve, and determining your goals will help you make a plan.
2. Determine your strategies
Now that you have your goals in place, you need to figure out which tactics will best get you there. There are plenty of tactics you can use to market your business, including social media, print ads, digital ads, websites, email, mobile—these all can help achieve your goals when used effectively. For example, if you want to increase your online presence, you need to focus your efforts on online techniques. Your needs, your goals and your target demographics will determine which strategies are necessary.
3. Determine campaign length
Your strategies can be based on a specific timeline that you set. Do you want to create your strategies to last for one month? Three months? Six months? Depending on how often you’re going to change your strategies will have an influence on your budget. If you change strategies every month, you will also want to reassess your budget every month too.
4. Estimate your income
If you’re an older business, you can look at your income from the past years to have a good grasp on the amount of money you’ll be bringing in. This will help determine how much of that income can be placed in your marketing budget. If you’re a new company, you’ll need to keep your marketing budget pretty small until you know how well your company will do. As a new business, it is smart to reassess your budget every month and make adjustments accordingly.
5. Estimate your expenses
If you’re an older company, determine how much money you expense by looking at previous years’ expenses. This will help you determine how much of your income will be given to everyday business expenses. If you’re a new business, you need to estimate your expenses. Things like rent/mortgage payments, utilities, office supplies, payroll—these all need to be estimated so you’ll have an idea of how much money you’ll not only bring in, but also expense. This way, you can determine how much money you’ll have to designate to your marketing budget.
6. Figure out the cost of the strategies you want to implement
You really need to research and find out how much the strategies you want to implement are going to cost you. If you want to create a website, you need to determine how much it will cost to create, how much it will cost to purchase a URL, how much it will cost to maintain, etc. By doing this, you may realize that a strategy is too much money for your budget, or you may realize that something is much cheaper than you expected, so you can add another tactic to your strategies too.
7. Create your budget
Now that you know how much money you’ll have to work with and how much each strategy will cost, you can determine what you’ll be able to afford. If the strategies you want to implement are too much money, you’ll need to readjust your strategies to implement ones that fit.
8. Remember to reassess
Just because you create a marketing budget once does not mean that you’ll never have to do it again. A marketing budget needs to be assessed and created more than once throughout the year. You need to know if your money is being well spent, which is why it’s important to track the success of your campaigns to determine if they were effective. If you tried your hand at print advertising and it didn’t generate much traffic, you may want to place your print ad budget into another strategy. Plus, marketing tactics are always changing, and it’s important to ensure that you’re implementing the best strategies for your business.
Creating a marketing budget is going to take a considerable amount of time to accomplish. It requires a great amount of research and thought. Your marketing budget is extremely important to your business, and if you don’t take the time to plan it successfully, it could have a negative effect on your business. Take the time to really determine your goals and your strategies, and also assess the amount of money you can afford to allocate to marketing. Once you have a good grasp on this information, you’ll be able to create your budget.
Charlie Adams is a tech expert and marketing professional who works with the Palms hotel in Las Vegas. He often generates content for the purpose of helping other professionals with advertising or marketing problems.
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