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Planning Your Marketing Budget

Planning Your Marketing Budget



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min read

Show Me the Money: Planning Your Marketing Budget

Your business won’t sell itself. At some point, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to spend money on marketing it. How and when you do so, and the success of your results, will depend on a good marketing budget.

A marketing budget ensures you have a big-picture plan. It’s a realistic understanding of your finances, and some measured timelines and tools. It also helps you avoid inconsistent fits and starts, or impulsive decisions. There are plenty of useful templates out there, but here are the essentials of a marketing budget, broken down into three simple steps.

Form a marketing strategy

Before you create the actual marketing budget, you need todo some research and put together a marketing strategy. This is based on a strong understanding of your target market – the age, gender, location, income, and specific needs of your target customers.

If you understand who precisely you want to reach, you can then figure out your message. This is what exactly you want to say to them about your solution and why they should choose you.

That message can be delivered through any number of channels. You want to find the channels where your target customers spend time and get their information and resources.

For example, it may be some combination of social media platforms and paid search engine advertising. Finally, what are your marketing goals? Do you want your marketing to ultimately attract 50 new clients per year? Or to double current traffic to your website?

Think what concrete outcomes you would like to see from your marketing and how they can be measured.

These are your marketing strategy basics: who you want to reach, how you’re going to win them over, where you’re going to find them and some measurable goals of your success. Now you can turn your attention to how the financing lines up.

Understand your budget

Marketing is a critical investment and leap of faith. However, your marketing budget also has to be reasonably aligned with your business and your operational costs. So, make sure you know the running costs of your business from day to day, and year to year.

Even if you haven’t ever had a proper marketing budget, you may already be putting some money into marketing. For example, you may already have a basic website or you’re printing out flyers every six months.

Try to understand how much you may already be investing in such marketing channels. What kinds of leads do they bring in? And what are the chances of getting those potential leads over the line to become actual customers? If you invest  £100 in an advert and get 10 potential leads but only two become actual clients, have you got enough out of your investment?

This will give you some basic data to work with.

How much money should you actually set aside for marketing in the channels you’ve pinpointed for your strategy?

Depending on various factors, you should plan to spend between 6-10% of your revenue on your marketing budget. I t will probably be more during the early days and less once you are well established.

Use your budget wisely

Once you have figured out your budget, you want to use that money well in carrying out your plans. Do lots of research about what marketing opportunities are out there that can meet both your needs and your budget.

A website like Coursera offers various courses in online marketing that are free or relatively low-cost. But you have to set aside the time for such a project and we know most small business owners have little time to spare.

Another option would be investing in a simple online marketing tool like 12Handz that walks you through creating and managing all the different pieces of your marketing. Before signing on with any marketing service, speak with their representatives. Look for a one-stop-shop that meets all your needs, and try to find periodic reduced fees and free trials to get you started.

Avoid doing things in random chunks. Having a thoughtful budget in place allows you to make informed decisions and investments. You don’t have to react or throw money at a marketing project only after completing a big job. Once you know what your overall finances look like, you can plan ahead and pace yourself.

Periodically, return to your budget to review it and make changes. Has your target market shifted? Have your running costs changed? Can your marketing budget be increased next year? You want to take an objective look at your goals. Are your marketing efforts meeting your specific measured expectations?

Are you in fact doubling traffic to your website or bringing in 50 more clients each year? If not, why? Do you need to change your strategy?

With a marketing budget in your pocket, you have a very important tool at your disposal. A page of hard and fast numbers allows you to keep yourself on the path to promoting and increasing your business. After that, it’s onward and upward!

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Marketing built
For your business

(not anybody else’s)

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Marketing Plan

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