As strategic planning wraps up, budget planning becomes the next looming project on the horizon of business owners. Tackling the marketing budget can be a daunting task, but with an organized approach you can conquer this project and stay on target to hit your business goals while staying on track with your marketing investments. Below are four must-have categories in your marketing budget for next year.
Even if you don't hire outside consultants, it's likely you in some way are investing in strategy. Webinars, conferences, or even trade magazine subscriptions are all examples of ways you are investing in strategic marketing. And if you aren't investing in any of these things, you may find yourself lagging in your market relatively quickly. It's important to invest in feeding your strategic thinking and invite ideas from others. Subcategories may include:
This is a given. Even if you don't "do" advertising, something usually comes up throughout the year, so budget a small amount in miscellaneous. I also like to include environmental advertising in this category (i.e. posters, point-of-purchase signs, yard banners, etc.) Subcategories may include:
Investing in advertising usually is associated with production costs. Additionally, collateral material must be budgeted. (Print collateral, such as stationary and brochures, is sometimes included in the office supplies budget.)
Web site (admin & hosting)
Public relations and customer retention fall under communication.
Logo-items (pens, T-shirts, etc.)
CRM (customer relationship management) software
You may have noticed a miscellaneous subcategory under every category. As I begin to fill out my numbers, I like to keep a small amount in miscellaneous if possible. It's inevitable unforeseen expenses are going to arise, and I like to cut back on a smaller priority item rather than leave no room for opportunities.
Would you like an outside perspective on allocating your marketing dollars? Give Rethink Marketing a call today!