Do your marketing dollars seem to fly out the door at a head-spinning pace? Not sure how to gain foresight and control over your advertising budget?
Problem solved! Leverage our free guide to marketing planning and budgeting to manage and track your marketing spend by category, month, and year.
Then, follow these four steps for a customized, strategic marketing plan for your business that flows from a thoughtful budget.
4 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan That Fits Your Budget
1. Know your revenue goals
Your marketing plan and budget should be tied tightly to the annual goals of your business. So, the first step in budgeting for a marketing plan is an honest assessment of where your company wants to head in the coming year.
Companies looking for aggressive growth will need to back those aspirations up with a healthy up-front marketing budget. If keeping a steady year-over-year pace is your goal, a more modest marketing spend might suffice.
Once you know your sales goals, be sure to write them down and share them with your sales and marketing teams. Now you’ll have direction for your overall marketing budget for the year. The folks at The Whole Brain Group recommend allocating between 1 and 5 percent of your annual gross revenue for marketing, depending on how aggressive your sales goals are.
2. Consider timing
Is your business tied to the calendar in any way? If so, forecast and make a record of your anticipated spending fluctuations month-by-month.
Many businesses have predictable marketing spikes that occur around certain seasons or events. Other businesses operate optimally around a steady marketing spend that is evenly spread throughout the year.
Take a critical and honest look ahead for the next 12 months to make sure you accurately catch all the events and timeframes when your company will need a special marketing push.
There are many ways to spend money on marketing, and every company has their preferred methods that get results. But it’s wise to take an annual assessment of the opportunities available.
Where will you spend your money?
- On traditional print and broadcast media ads?
- On pay-per-click and remarketing digital techniques?
- On social media advertising?
- On special events?
- On content marketing?
Look back at your prior year’s spend, and sort it by category. What performed well? What didn’t produce a measurable ROI? This should help you forecast your budget for each category.
4. Find your team and execute
The team of professionals you tap to pull off your marketing plan and keep it on budget needs to bring the full gamut of effective inbound marketing skills to the table. Don’t be afraid to look outside your company to accomplish your marketing goals. If your in-house team is ill-equipped for the job, consider hiring freelancers or outsourcing to an agency.
You may be wary of hiring a company who might be less responsive than an in-house team might be, but if you do your homework, you will find that a quality outsourced marketing company can provide a multitude of services and trained professionals who can take your business to the next level.
Seek out the source of the websites and marketing materials you like and speak with those companies about your needs. Word of mouth is also powerful. Pay attention to reputation, reviews and recommendations to find the right partner.
Follow these four steps to determine where your company wants to go, accurately categorize and optimally time your marketing spend, and make sure you have the right marketing professionals for the job! The result will be an effective marketing plan that fits your budget and grows your business!
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