The goal of any marketing strategy is to drive business, so it must provide adequate ROI. A marketing budget will help you stay focused on what you want to achieve without overspending. But how do you calculate how much to spend?
Whether your marketing budget runs by calendar or financial year, we’ve compiled some notes to help you get the most out of your new budget period.
(1) Learn by your previous performance
It’s essential that you track your past performance to learn what has worked, what needs tweaking, and what should be removed completely.
Think about which methods resulted in the most leads and conversions in the last 12 months. Then, put an improved strategy together that will build upon last year’s achievements.
(2) Define your objectives
As you prepare your new budget, you need to keep some points in mind:
- How has your business performed in the past 12 months?
- Which aspects would you like to improve?
- Can you dig any deeper this year?
- Could you go at a quicker pace?
- Do you have opportunities sitting on the back burner that you could move forward with?
(3) Reach your target audience
Digital marketing continues to outperform traditional methods, and your strategy needs to reflect where your audience can be found.
Are they on Facebook or Twitter, for example? Do they prefer email newsletters or is print media still effective for your business?
Once you know where you’ll focus your efforts, set a budget for each channel. Each platform will have its associated costs, and you should measure how much you’ll spend on each against predicted returns.
(4) Find out what your industry typically spends on marketing
Your budget will depend largely on what you want to achieve. Younger businesses, for example, are likely to focus on brand recognition and building an audience, which can eat up a lot of the budget, and may take some trial and error to get right.
Established companies will likely focus on preserving their position and growing the business, using tried and tested methods to continue moving forward. This stage tends to require a smaller budget, but it all depends on the industry and the competition.
Have a look at your industry – what’s everyone else doing and spending? Your competitors won’t openly tell you how much they spend, so you’ll need to conduct some research to make predictions and find out what the averages are in your industry.
(5) Continually invest in your marketing
It’s important that you have the right mindset when it comes to marketing. Think of it as an investment in your business, not an expense or overhead that needs minimising.
Done well, marketing will pay for itself. A percentage of your new business growth should always be invested back into marketing to keep things moving forward.
(6) Budget tracking
Once you know your objectives and you’ve allocated a proportion of your budget to each, how do you make sure you don’t overspend?
A budget spreadsheet is invaluable for helping you to keep track of your monthly spend and compare it to projected costs and returns.
A good tracker will also enable you to create graphs with the data – a helpful visual aid for spotting potential issues with overspending.
Have a free budget template on us
We’ve created a simple budget spreadsheet template and it’s available to our readers free of charge.
Contact us today to get started with your marketing budget for this year.