How to Create an Effective Marketing Budget for Your Company
Marketing budgets are a necessary tool for any business! While word of mouth works great for many companies, sooner or later you will need to set aside a budget and put some focus on marketing. Setting a marketing budget and spending it effectively can prove to be a challenge for many company owners.
Businesses will often set aside a budget for marketing and get frustrated when there doesn’t seem to be any return. Oftentimes, this frustration stems from having unclear marketing goals, which leads to overspending in certain unproductive areas, having a foggy understanding of where the money is going, and missing out on numerous cost-effective solutions that would benefit your business most along the way.
According to Business Dictionary, marketing is “the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer.” Simple definitions aside, marketing entails a number of different facets, can reap amazing rewards for companies, and help a company expand and grow – that is, IF it is budgeted wisely and spent effectively. When it comes to specific goals, spending, and budgeting according to their individual company and their industry, for many companies it gets overwhelming unclear.
Have a Vision
Before beginning to set any kind of marketing budget, there has to be clear marketing goals. It is well worth your time to sit down and make a list of these goals. Some questions that will help you get started include:
- Where would you like to see your company go?
- What products or services do you want highlighted?
- Do you have any other specific messages you want to get into the hands of your consumers and potential markets?
- Are you looking to raise general brand awareness, or looking to highlight a particular service or new product?
- Do you need to keep some of your marketing budget available for particular campaigns?
Asking these sorts of questions will help you define where your marketing budget should go and how much it will require.
Long Term vs. Short Term
It is important to consider the difference between long-term and short-term goals when evaluating your marketing efforts. A marketing goal of raising brand awareness is going to be a long-term investment, so it is difficult to measure overall success with short-term evaluations. Give time to your efforts, and understand that it takes time to raise awareness and establish your name and products, particularly if you’re a newer business.
Know your Financials
Have a good grasp and understanding of your company’s financials. This will allow you to set aside an appropriate amount for marketing without overspending, losing control of where your money is going, or being frustrated with seeing little to no progress.
The marketing budget will vary according to business size as well as length of time the business has been established. Each business is unique and different – Country Road Graphics is happy to help you identify your selling points and develop a strategy based on your financial situation or within your established budget (if you already have one).
Choose Your Marketing Avenues
There are so many different marketing channels available today, but prioritizing these channels according to value and potential ROI for your company is important. Marketing avenues can include:
- Radio Ads
- Print Materials
- Print Ads
- Social Media
- Promotional Products
…and many more! So it is useful to sit down and decide which ones will work well for your company.
Leave Room (and Patience) for Less-than-Successful Attempts
As much as we all plan and work hard to accomplish our goals, there will always be times when the results aren’t everything we expected – marketing is no different! It is important to realize that not every attempt will be as successful as you hope. Putting all your eggs in one basket and expecting to see massive ROI doesn’t always work. Successful marketing is dependent on so many different things – budget, audience, industry needs, economy, and many others. It is important to not get discouraged and frustrated with one not-so-very-successful marketing attempt. Plan to use a couple of different avenues, track your results, and keep building and improving based on that evidence.
Have Everyone in the Know
It is important that your entire team is on board with what your company’s marketing goals are! Working as a unit and bringing together the different departments will help create success.
As always, Country Road Graphics is here to help with any marketing related needs. We sit down with your company and get to know you and help you identify key selling points, unique company aspects, as well as establish a flexible, workable, and manageable marketing budget. We will help develop creative ways to implement your marketing strategies and reach your audience in effective ways!
Contact us today, and get started on establishing a successful marketing plan!