Does My Marketing Budget Match My Business Goals?
Many business make the mistake of establishing a marketing budget based solely upon what they think the business can afford to spend at that time. While this is one important factor, it’s critical to also consider your business model and goals for growth. If your marketing budget does not align with your business’s goals, you will not likely have the ability to achieve them.
Simply put, you’re at a huge disadvantage if you establish a marketing budget without giving thought as to whether it aligns with your business goals. Here are several key things you should consider when establishing your marketing budget.
- What are my business goals?
Every success business must have goals. How do you plan to grow? Do you plan to hire, offer additional services or target a new market? All of these goals must be supported by your marketing efforts. The decisions you make internally are important, but how do you plan to communicate this to your customers? This is where marketing comes into play! You must strategize and outline your business goals both short terms and long term.
- When do I want to achieve them?
Some business goals will be immediate, others may be months or years in the making. The next step toward making sure your marketing budget matches your business goals is having a clear timeline for when you’d like to reach each goal. For the goals you wish to achieve right now, they will need the most marketing support.
- What marketing will this require?
So you’ve set your goals and prioritized the ones you want to reach first. Now you need to determine the marketing this will require. If you’re expanding into a new market or offering a new service, you will need to promote this to the right audience. Paid advertisements, social media and mail/email communication could be valuable marketing tactics. Develop your strategy and timeline for implementation.
- How much money will this cost?
With a marketing strategy and timeline in place, you can now project costs. If you plan to do 5 direct mail pieces, get a quote for the cost. Be sure to factor in the cost of design, printing and postage as well as the cost of purchasing a list of addresses, if needed. If you plan to place a billboard advertisement, get a quote for the location and duration you want.
- Do the projected marketing costs match my budget?
Now that you have a good understanding of the “real” costs associated with your marketing efforts, how does this compare to the original budget you had in mind? There’s a good chance you underestimated how much certain tactics would cost. Now you have one of two options. You can either expand your marketing budget, or reassess your marketing strategy and goals.
If you simply cannot add to your marketing budget at this time, your business may need to adjust its goals and push a few back on the timeline. Going through this exercise each and every time to establish a new marketing budget will help you maintain realistic expectations and also allow you to see the importance of investing in marketing to grow your business.
What factors do you consider when determining your business’s marketing budget? How do you ensure that your budget aligns with your business goals?
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