7 Steps to creating your Marketing Budget

August 03, 2015

A marketing budget is an essential part of your business. A good one will prevent you from overspending and keep you focused on your marketing plan. While we understand that this is a time consuming exercise, it will certainly pay off; it might even be what keeps your business afloat.

If your company has no internal marketing director or department, it can feel overwhelming at first. In order to maximize your results, you have to plan wisely, and take the budgeting process step by step. Marketing is essential to the profitability and growth of any business, but when it is not carefully planned and executed, the risks are high, such as wasting funds or spending less than what is needed to bring about results.

  1. Get organized- The first thing you need to do is understand your current financial situation, as well as your goals. How much revenue you set aside for marketing will depend on this. If you are looking to expand, a larger portion of your budget should be spent on marketing. In reality, your budget will depend on your industry, the size of your business and its growth stage. Before you follow the steps below make sure you are well organized and ready to get started.
  2. Define your business goals- Once you understand your financial situation, you will need to look over your goals. What do you wish to accomplish in the coming years? How will you meet your financial goals? Take the time to write them down.
  3. Plan your objectives- If you are looking to attract sellers with homes above $5 million, how do you plan to accomplish this? What marketing strategies will you need to accomplish the goals you’ve outlined in step 2. Think about your target audience and how you will reach them. Outline a basic marketing plan.
  4. Consider all involved expenses- Don’t forget research and planning when you are thinking about your marketing plan. It isn’t just about the advertising, the marketing, branding and the public relations. There is more to marketing. When you are calculating expenses, it is easy to overlook some of the costs that are actually involved. Be extra careful to analyze each and every piece of your marketing plan. Have you calculated research, print, fabrication, media costs, digital ad expenses, etc.?
  5. Create your budget- Now that you’ve thoroughly analyzed all the components, go ahead and assign a cost to each item. Try to make it as accurate as possible. Plug in estimated costs for the activities outlined in your plan. Do not forget to include the costs for printing, media, design, website, trade shows, copy writing, public relations, research, and more.
  6. Double-check your plan- Make sure that your total marketing budget makes sense within the scope of your entire budget. If you aren’t sure, ask the professionals. A marketing consultant, a business coach or even a full-service marketing agency can help you with this portion. They may have more realistic information to offer.
  7. Evaluate your budget- For each marketing activity you are engaging in, there should be a performance measure. Measuring performance isn’t exclusively about money. A better indicator of performance might be web traffic, newsletter sign-ups, phone calls, etc. Regularly review your budget, you might find that something deserves more funds than it was initially given, while another line item might be performing poorly and it could be eliminated. Examine your marketing budget on a regular basis.

Do not feel intimidated by the prospect of a marketing budget. If you follow these simple steps, you will be on your way to creating a solid plan. While the words ‘marketing budget’ might suggest a fight or flight response, there is really nothing to fear if you plan carefully.

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