Planning a marketing budget for your company

Few people would argue that having a budget for office supplies, personnel, or vendor services is a good idea. But too often, people approach their marketing in a scattered fashion—creating a piece of marketing collateral as the need arises, or placing an ad when a good deal comes their way. The result? Overspending on some projects, underspending on others, and an overall inconsistent message to your target audiences.

The solution? Plan your marketing budget for the year, then spend it strategically.

As a rule of thumb, many experts suggest spending 8-10% of your annual budget on marketing. This is helpful, but it’s also important to ask yourself about your marketing goals as they relate to your company’s overall exposure and branding.

For example, if you’re a new company, your budget should be larger than 10% of your expected annual revenue to accommodate the need for basic start-up materials, such as a logo, website, business cards, business stationery and marketing collateral.

If you have an established company with a strong client base, perhaps you’ll plan your budget with the objective of staying in front of your audiences through primarily advertising efforts.

Finally, if your company is going through a transition or needs to change to meet the times, you should plan to spend a little more to re-communicate your brand through a logo refresh, website makeover, and updated marketing collateral. Don’t forget a roll-out advertising campaign to let your clients know how you’re changing!

Wherever your business falls on this continuum, know that your marketing budget will need to encompass a range of products and services, including many of the following:

  • marketing consultation, planning, or market research
  • graphic design services
  • media purchasing
  • printing services
  • website hosting
  • website programming
  • copywriting
  • video production
  • professional photography
  • model fees

Confused about what you may need? Get suggestions from your agency. They’ve likely worked with companies of many sizes, and can help you prioritize your marketing needs based on experience, and even give you ballpark estimates of costs. Better yet, if you know your budget, enlist your agency to help you spend it strategically. They can help you determine where it makes sense to cut costs and where it may make sense to spend a little more.

Here are a few more resources to consider when planning your company’s marketing budget:

http://www.nancyschwartz.com/marketing_budget.html

http://www.toolkit.com/small_business_guide/sbg.aspx?nid=P03_7006

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/How+to+Build+a+Well+Oiled+Marketing+Machine

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One Response to “Planning a marketing budget for your company”

  1. Mix Creative’s Katrina Hase featured in recent WIN E-Newsletter « Mix Creative Says:

    […] the September 28 edition of the Connect e-newsletter. The article, Planning a Marketing Budget, was distilled from a longer post in the Mix Creative blog from September of […]

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