How much a marketing budget should be is always a tough question to answer. It depends on what you're trying to accomplish and by when. Setting a firm objective helps provide clarity on the budget you need, for example, generating 500 leads per quarter or increasing organic traffic
by 20% from the previous year.
Determining how much and where to spend your marketing budget is crucial to achieving your objectives. As your business gears up for 2024, it's essential to approach budgeting with a strategic mindset.
Today's Marketing Landscape: Investment is a Necessity
We’ve all heard the old adage, “It takes money to make money.” In the land of digital marketing
, it certainly rings true. To get the word out about your business, you must invest in marketing.
However, rather than taking a haphazard approach to creating your marketing budget, like picking a number out of the air, throwing darts, or worse — doing a percentage of what’s leftover.
Let’s talk about some of the real line items that realistically need to be in your marketing budget.
The Components of a Marketing Budget
To get the best results from your marketing budget, keep only marketing expenses included. For example, if you provide salespeople expense accounts, include those in your sales budget.
Here are key things that you should include in your marketing budget:
1. Marketing Collateral
Allocate funds for brochures, flyers, catalogs, and promotional items to empower your sales team
with quality support materials.
2. Production Costs
Cover expenses for art, design, copywriting, photography, and creative elements necessary for advertising, promotional materials, content marketing
3. Technology Costs
Factor in costs related to website development
, hosting, maintenance, and automation
. Also, include tools for graphics, video production, and content management. Evaluate whether to use in-house talent or outsource, and equip your team with essential tools.
4. Online Marketing/Paid Advertising
Allocate budget for online channels such as SEO
, social media, email, affiliate marketing, and influencer marketing. You would also include traditional advertising channels like newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio in this category.
Don't forget to set aside funds for testing new marketing approaches before a full-scale rollout.
5. Marketing and Brand Strategy
Invest in developing a robust marketing and brand strategy. A well-crafted strategy can make a brand stand out in a sea of competitors, making it a worthwhile investment.
6. Memberships, Conferences, and Training
Budget for memberships, conferences, and training to stay updated on industry trends
. In an information-driven economy, continuous learning is essential for staying competitive.
7. Conferences & Tradeshow Sponsorships
Separate from attendance budgets, allocate funds for sponsorships, displays, airfare, and hotels for conferences and tradeshows
. Events and sponsorships are key opportunities to generate leads and sales.
8. Marketing Staff (Internal or External)
Consider the costs associated with the individuals or teams responsible for executing your marketing strategy. This can include in-house employees, contractors, or external agencies
Get More Out of Your Marketing Budget in 2024
Approaching your 2024 marketing budget with these detailed components ensures a strategic allocation of resources and maximizes the impact of your marketing efforts. Remember to stay agile, embrace emerging trends, and allocate resources based on your specific business objectives for the year ahead.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.