It is critical to create a small business marketing budget as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Read on to find out why!
What does a real budget do for marketing?
Budgets are about more than a spending cap - they help you prioritize what you're actually going to spend money on. For example, if you're just starting up, you might focus your budget on web design with the expectation of providing future content (like blog posts) yourself.
Businesses of all kinds will be coming at you with offers of ways to spend your money, and having a plan lets you focus on the offers that will be most helpful. In other words, you can spend your money in a strategic way, rather than simply reacting to the offers you get.
In addition, budgets allow you to align your money with your goals. You should never, ever simply spend money on advertising, hoping to get a return on it. Instead, you should have a specific strategy and understand not just what the probable returns are, but how each form of marketing can help you accomplish your overall goals. This is the essence of a small business marketing strategy that will help you overcome your rough early years and establish yourself as a lasting commercial success.
How do I create a successful marketing strategy? 6 Important Elements for Your Marketing Strategy.
Should marketing budgets be separate from other budgets?
Yes. Some businesses like to throw their marketing costs in with other parts of the business, like operational costs. However, doing this reduces flexibility - and often means that several people are competing to get the money they want (and need) from the same limited budget.
Separating the marketing budget helps the marketing team know exactly what they have to work with - and, just as importantly, it allows the company's executives to adjust its budget without worrying about throwing things off elsewhere.
Should the marketing budget be reduced when more money is desired elsewhere?
No. This is a common action by small businesses that want to redirect funds, but fundamentally, shrinking a marketing budget means moving away from the idea of growing as a company.
The primary goal of marketing is to have a positive return on investment - that is, it brings in more money than the company is spending. If the business has more money, it's a lot easier to pay for anything else it wants to do.
How do we know if It is working?
Today's digital marketing methods make it possible to track how well a given marketing campaign is performing and whether or not it's actually making money for the company. Marketers no longer have to guess or estimate whether a given campaign is succeeding... they can simply print out a report and show it to anyone who needs to know.
Even more usefully, this allows a small business marketing strategy to adjust itself as it goes along. The truth is that most marketing strategies aren't very effective at first. However, as the company collects data and refines its processes - such as identifying the most valuable demographics and tailoring advertising to them - it can eventually create a smoothly-functioning system that emphasizes repeating what works.
Need help identifying your target audience? We can help! Learn about our inbound marketing services.
How big should the marketing budget be?
That depends on your business. There is no budget that's applicable to every industry, and it wouldn't make sense to try and fit your business into that. Instead, we've created a marketing budget template you can use to estimate your costs and figure out what you can afford to put into your small business marketing strategy.
Once you know how much you can afford to invest you can focus on intelligently using that budget to drive your company's success.
Ultimately, it all comes down to prior planning - the better your plan, the more successful your marketing budget will be.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a web design company located in Richmond, VT. We specialize in inbound marketing, digital marketing, and marketing strategy. We create thoughtful, powerful marketing strategies that are unique to our clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.