That is always a tough question to answer. It really depends
on what you are trying to accomplish and by when. Setting a firm objective really helps you
focus in on the budget you need. Example: “I need 500 leads per quarter. “
We’ve all heard the old adage, “It takes money to make
money.” In the land of digital marketing, it certainly rings true. In order to
get the word out about your business you must make an investment 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
In order to get the best results from your marketing budget,
try to keep only marketing expenses included. For example, if you provide
expense accounts to salespeople, try to include those in your sales budget.
Here are some of the things that you should include in your
– This would include brochures, flyers, catalogs, promotional items such as
shirts or pens, as well as any other items designed to promote your business
and your offerings. Most small businesses start out in sales mode. Make sure
your sales team is equipped to sell with quality support materials.
– This category includes any art, design, copywriting, photography, images, graphic
design, creative, printing, list rentals, video production, script writing, voice-overs,
editing etc. necessary to create your advertising or promotional materials.
– This includes the cost of building your website, hosting, email and maintenance.
You may need landing page software and a CRM system (like Infusionsoft) to
capture your sales prospects and send your email. If you are doing sales online
you will need to accept credit card payments, so you will need a merchant
account and payment gateway. If you are doing your own graphic work in-house
there are tools like Adobe Creative Suite that you’ll need. There is also a
host of specialized marketing tools for managing everything from SEO ranking to
social media conversations. If you are doing video in-house, you’ll need things
like cameras, lighting, backgrounds, sound boards and microphones and
subscriptions to services like Vimeo. Ask your team what tools they need. Good
news is that if you are outsourcing, most of these tools will be provided as
part of the service.
Online Marketing/Paid Advertising – Any ads you run in newspapers,
magazines, direct mail campaigns, TV, and radio would be included in this. You
would also include any online advertising such as videos, banner ads, email marketing,
pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media advertising, content marketing and blog
maintenance. Make sure you add some
extra budget to run some marketing tests. Smart marketers test before they roll
out. If you don’t want to make a huge marketing mistake, you test things first.
Marketing and Brand Strategy
– If you need help to mapping out your marketing or
brand strategy, be sure to include some money for those services. Done right, your
strategy can help you develop a contagious brand. It is money well spent.
Conferences and Training – If you are planning to do marketing in-house,
don’t forget a healthy budget amount for memberships, conferences and training.
We live in an information economy. That information doubles every 6 months and
you have to stay on top of all the changes. You can’t do that if you are not continuously
learning and growing.
Tradeshow Sponsorships – Yes, conferences is listed twice. The one before
is your people attending to learn. In this one, you are a sponsor at a
conference to generate leads and sales.
Don’t forget displays, airfare and hotels in this budget.
Marketing Staff (Internal
or External) – Last, but not least are the folks that run the marketing
show for your company. They can be employees,
contractors, or a company you hire to run your marketing.
Need advice on your marketing budget? Call us at 407-682-2222 or contact us online to schedule your free marketing strategy session!