Building a Small Business Marketing Budget – Part 1 of 5
So, you’ve been charged with building the marketing budget. Whether it’s for your own growing business or you are heading up your organization’s marketing and business development initiatives, one of the most difficult things to do is to build a realistic, affordable, and effective marketing plan.
The strategy and customer analysis came quickly to you, but the budget….where do you even start? We’ve compiled some of the top questions we get asked by business owners and marketing managers, along with our tips for building a small business marketing budget.
Over the next five weeks, we’ll answer the following…
Week 1: How do I start building a marketing budget?
Week 2: What percent of sales should I set aside for marketing and advertising?
Week 3: What should I include in my marketing budget?
Week 4: How do I prioritize a limited marketing budget?
Week 5: How do I measure ROI on my advertising tactics?
Let’s get started with Week 1…
Getting Started With Your Marketing Budget
Jumping into a marketing budget can be overwhelming. We recommend using an annual calendar/spreadsheet to organize all your information. Along the top row you’ll list the months (6/12/18, or however many make sense to you) and down the first column on the left you’ll list your activities or tactics. In the second, third, and fourth rows you’ll want to list any major event dates, promotions or sales, or other strategic items that will drive your marketing budget.
Start with the calendar of activities you want to accomplish, then once you have all the activities and priorities set in each month, duplicate that sheet. You’ll then turn the activities into dollar amounts in the month they occur to build your marketing budget.
Make sure to break those activities into categories – breaking your budget into easily digestible chunks of information such as “Online Marketing” or “Advertising and Sponsorships” or “Trade Shows.” It took us several years of building marketing plans before a natural pattern started to emerge. But today, we break almost all of our marketing calendars and budgets into the following major categories:
- General Branding
- Collateral & Tools
- Social Media
- Google Pay Per Click
- Public Relations
- Drip Marketing
- Sales Systems & Tools
- Trade Shows/Events
- Advertising & Sponsorships
- Other Special Projects or Campaigns
Check out next week’s blog, where we will discuss “What percent of sales should I set aside for marketing and advertising?”