01 Aug Marketing Budget 101
When it comes to your business, it is a constant learning process. While you find yourself needing to do anything, many times it could be the first time you do it, and uncertainty comes to play. Am I making the right decision? Is this the correct move? Am I spending enough or am I spending too little? Unless you are a Marketing Superhero, when it comes to your marketing campaigns in the modern world, these uncertainties become even bigger. The truth is that there is no perfect recipe and everything you need to do will not be exactly alike to the way others do it. Factors like products, target market, and budget require you to figure out how to apply big-scale marketing principles to your business needs.
One of the main obstacles for business owners is not knowing how much money they should/should not spend on their marketing efforts. A marketing budget is not something to take lightly, not only is necessary but it also needs to be sufficient for you to cause a true impact, and turn your campaign into revenue. Here are some general guidelines you should take into consideration when setting up an effective marketing budget.
1. HAVE CLEAR GOALS
The importance of having clear goals and expectations out of your marketing campaign is the most important step to setting up your budget. If you are not clear on the factors that influence your marketing strategy and the results you want from it, you will end up spending unnecessarily. What is the purpose of your campaign? Awareness? Leads? Sales? Once you have decided the focus of your campaign, you will also have a clearer picture of how to spend money on it.
2. CHOOSE YOUR CHANNELS
By this point, you should have already learned a lot about your target market and already know a good deal of their habits, which means you also have an idea of what is the best way to reach out to them. Depending on your products/services some channels could be more effective than others and their cost also varies on frequency and effectiveness. Some of the most used channels are Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Display Advertising, Google Search Network, Blogging, Email marketing or direct mail and collateral; each of them has their science to it. Check out the highlighted above to read some pretty cool info on effective marketing efforts specific to each channel.
3. ESTABLISH FREQUENCY
Regardless of the channel you use in your marketing campaign, there is a factor they all have in common: Frequency. Whether you are planning to blog or send postcards by mail, you need to decide how often that will happen and then translate that frequency into a dollar amount. It would be logical to think that the more often it happens the better results you will get…wrong!
Particularly with digital marketing channels, sometimes less is more. If you have questions on how to decide on the frequency of your efforts, then go back to your target market research and you’ll find the answer.
4. ORGANIZE YOUR TIMELINE
Now that you are clear on your goals, selected your channel, and establish the frequency of your campaign, it’s time to get organized. The organization can come in different ways for different people and according to different campaigns, but something as simple as having a spreadsheet with dates, cost, description of the effort and results will help you to visualize whether your money is being spent productively or not.
Keeping good track of your campaigns is crucial for future efforts and budgeting. Do not neglect this, remember 90% of the marketing is to keep tracks and metrics of what is effective and what isn’t so that no mistakes are repeated.