Whether your company is a few people or a few thousand people, odds are that your marketing department needs to set a budget. With more avenues through which to market than ever before (think seo, social media, augmented reality, mobile-targeted placements, etc.), it can be a bit difficult to make your budget have impact in every area. That said, before you allocate the final numbers, don’t forget to consider these five things.
#1 – Learn From the Past – Before you start allocating amounts, make sure to carefully review the actual outputs and results of your past activities. Often times, we think that we know how a certain campaign or investment has performed based on our memory recall and impression. For example, perhaps you were at a tradeshow where you had non-stop foot traffic and you remember all of the great conversations; the thought is automatically that the tradeshow was a great success and investment. Stay away from your impressions and carefully look at the numbers to ensure that the number of leads – and more importantly, wins – corresponds.
#2 – The Must-Haves – Create a priority list of your must-have items for inclusion before you begin anything else. By putting them first and foremost, you will ensure that nothing goes forgotten and that you can allocate the funds upfront, rather than trying to squeeze it in after already allocating funds to other items.
#3 – Company Direction – Consider whether your marketing initiatives properly map to your company’s direction for the coming year. For example, if you have traditionally focused on print media spending, but your company is launching a new digital branch, your marketing budget should align with that new goal and priority. Remember to examine any departments that will launch that year as well as any initiatives or areas that may dissolve.
#4 – Economic Climate – Is it guaranteed that once your budget is approved, the funds will be there? Or is there a chance that allocated funds may become unavailable, pending economic changes? How will your budget change if events or tradeshows become cancelled – or, if new important ones launch? Will you need a retainer for additional hiring? How will your budget be affected in the case of a funding shortage? Plan ahead for the variances caused by economic and funding availability shifts so that you can cut the fat ahead of time and smartly plan your buffer.
#5 – Metrics – Everything ties back to metrics – so before you sign the dotted line on your proposed budget, make sure that you have a solid plan to measure your successes. Write the planned metrics down for each item so that you have something to measure against at the end of the year; by having the plan upfront, you are better able to defend and sell your budget to senior leadership.
Planning a marketing budget is no easy task, but by planning ahead and considering potential roadblocks in advance of reaching them, you're able to develop a tighter, smarter budget and plan.
Get in touch today to find out how onebestway can help your business. Or call us directly on 0191 27 666 27 and ask for Mike Owen.