Summer has officially come to a close, and while kids have gone back to school and stores prepare themselves for the holidays, for us in the marketing and B2B world, it means another budgeting season is upon us. While some businesses start preparing their budgets for next year as early as June, most of us begin the process right around now. Seems like the end of Summer will always be something of a drag no matter how old we are.
Because we rather enjoy the changing of the leaves and the hint of coolness in the air that the beginning of Autumn brings, and we want you to partake in that excitement too, without the heaviness of having to figure out that budget bearing down on your shoulders, we’re offering some tips on how to prepare your marketing budget for 2019.
Though we work in a world that is always changing and reinventing itself in a variety of ways, there are a few keys factors that always remain when it comes to preparing a budget.
1. Set goals.
This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but we can’t leave this one out. Setting your goals is crucial, and will also act as a guideline for how to budget in the years to come. A very important thing to keep in mind is to be realistic. You might want to start by taking a look at the success you’ve had this year, and work from there.
Maybe you’ve been more effective in a particular area over others - that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put more money into that area, maybe you feel like you’ve been neglecting your company’s brand, while advertising seems to be pulling its weight.
These goals will be an important tool in setting up your budget next year, when you compare how much of a budget you set aside for marketing to how many goals you were able to accomplish. That will serve as your guideline for setting up your next budget.
2. Determine your target audience and the best way to reach them.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of who your target audience is, and if you’re not sure, take a look at numbers and demographics. Focusing on your target demographic will act as a perfect guide throughout this tedious process.
Once you’ve narrowed down who your target audience is, figure out the best way to reach them, whether it be through TV, digital media, print. Some questions you should ask yourself: how difficult or easy is it to reach my target audience? Is it easy to track their numbers and feedback? There’s a good way to figure out where your money should go.
3. Once you’ve figured out your target audience and how to best reach them, define who your competition is.
Is your brand one of the lucky ones that have discovered an untapped market? Or is it a dog-eat-dog world for you? If competition is high, you may consider putting even more money into your marketing budget, because from where you stand now, you have no idea what tricks you might have to pull. One thing is for sure - you’re going to want to have enough money in your budget to afford having your brand be a worthy contender among your competition. Because otherwise, well, what’s the point?
4. With these things in mind, decide on how much of your revenue you will put aside for your Marketing budget.
Having determined your goals, target audience, methods, and competition, now you can figure out how best to allocate funds for your marketing budget. There are a few different ways you can do this. You could just set aside a percentage from your revenue. Most companies will set aside anywhere between 1-12% of their revenue for their marketing budget. How much that should be depends on the previously mentioned factors. You could take a look at your budget history and compare your accomplished goals to how much your marketing budget was for 2018. You could decide on whether you want to focus on your goals or on competition, and estimate the costs of every action you’ll want to take. You could take the random allocation route if marketing is minor to you. OR you could use several of these ways to figure it out. The important thing is to at least be aware of what you want to do in 2019 and who your audience and competition are.
In order to maximize your marketing budget, no matter how much capital you’ve designated towards it, we recommend going with streamlined, integrated agencies that operate on speed without compromising quality. Agencies like 121. Why? Simple: because we work quickly, and charge by the hour, you will inevitably end up saving money; with the added benefit of our faster turnover giving you a leg up on your competition. When you go with agencies like ours, deciphering your marketing budget should be easy and stress-free, because you’ll be able to depend on us doing the most we can to help you reach your goals and within your budget.
So go ahead and breathe in that fresh, crisp Autumn air. Maybe next year, you’ll actually be looking forward to budgeting season.
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Last Edited on May 25, 2018