How Do I Establish a Marketing Budget?

 
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Investing in marketing is important for the growth of any business. After all, how are your potential customers going to know to buy from you if you don’t show them how wonderful you are? But with endless creative marketing options and different costs associated with each, we know that it can be difficult to decipher what money is best spent where. So, we’ve shared a few tips to keep in mind when creating a marketing budget to ensure that you are set up to start making return on your investment.  

What do we mean by marketing?

Firstly, we thought it might be helpful to identify exactly what we mean when we talk about marketing. It’s a term that refers to the activities undertaken by a business to promote the selling of a service or product. This covers a whole range of things from digital ads, SEO, and social media to printed brochures, PR, and outreach marketing like speaking at events and being featured on podcasts. There are so many options when it comes to marketing your business, so be sure to explore them all to identify what could work for you.

Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to market to a target market, especially when it’s backed up with strong PR and resources.

Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to market to a target market, especially when it’s backed up with strong PR and resources.

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Create a Marketing Plan 

Before we stat thinking about budget, the first thing to do is set out a marketing strategy. We won’t go into too much detail on this here, as we’ve spoken all about it on another one of our blog posts (click here to give it a read). But, in a nutshell, a marketing plan outlines what your goals are for the business and shows how you are going to communicate with your customers, and by what means, to reach this goal. This will allow you to establish the ideal way in which you would like to do your marketing and you can work out your budget with this in mind. If there are elements that simply will not fit within your budget, they can become goals to focus on in the future. For example, if creating a beautiful catalogue to send to your customers in the post is an ideal part of your marketing plan but this is currently beyond your budget, focus on other low-cost marketing avenues for the time being and set the catalogue creation as a goal to achieve when you start getting revenue from the other streams. 

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Always focus on your Customer Avatar

It goes without saying that when establishing your marketing plan and budget, you should always have your ideal customer in mind. This will help you to ensure that you are putting money in the right places to target your audience. For example, if your ideal customer is someone who is over 70 that does not have much interest in technology, directing a big chunk of your budget to promote your business on digital platforms probably isn’t the best way to target them. Instead, printed materials may be more beneficial. Always base your budget around spending money in the best places to reach your ideal customer. 

Keep in mind your target audience and where you should focus resources to reach them.

Keep in mind your target audience and where you should focus resources to reach them.

Try to think outside the box and direct your budget to new spaces in creative ways. 

Find Your Niche 

The creation of any kind of marketing budget should involve lots of research. Spend some time looking at your competitors and where they are directing their marketing funds. Is there an area that they are missing? Is there any way that you can bring your ideal customer into a new space through clever marketing? Or, can you find creative ways to make yourself stand out above them in the same spaces? For example, if they are spending a big chunk of their budget on social media with sponsored posts and carefully designed graphics, look for ways to direct your budget a little differently. Your competitors may be paying for ads directly with the social media channel, but not advertising through influencers who have a large following on the platforms. Try to think outside the box and direct your budget to new spaces in creative ways. 

Giveaways at events can be a great way to build brand exposure, particularly if what you produce is really creative or eye-catching.

Giveaways at events can be a great way to build brand exposure, particularly if what you produce is really creative or eye-catching.

Consider how these marketing materials will be used. A chef may not have the need for a tote bag but will appreciate having supplier contact details pinned to the fridge for easy ordering.

Consider how these marketing materials will be used. A chef may not have the need for a tote bag but will appreciate having supplier contact details pinned to the fridge for easy ordering.

See marketing as an investment, not a cost

One of the most important things to remember when establishing your budget is that marketing should be seen as an investment, not an additional cost. When done successfully, marketing is something that will bring tangible return of investment over time. It’s for this reason that you should never base your marketing budget around what’s left over after covering all other costs. Set out a plan, work out what funds you’ll need to put it into action, and see how you can make this work within the overall financial status of your business. 

If you’d like to chat to us about marketing your business, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at studio@steeleandstovell.co.uk