Setting a marketing budget

Are you setting  a digital marketing budget?

What do you actually expect your marketing to achieve? It may sound like a really obvious question, but it’s critical that you ask it when you’re setting a marketing budget. Many companies simply see marketing as an expense. To them, it’s part of a budget they have to spend as part of running a business, rather than spend that should generate a return on investment.
Marketing should be an investment. You should want to spend as much money as you can on your marketing efforts because what you are doing will be bringing you new business that’s worth far more than your spend. The only limit should  be the amount of business that you’re able to take on.
This might require a big rethink in your approach to marketing. It’ll certainly require a robust measurement and tracking reporting system. To help you get started, we’ll explain how to analyse what you’ve spent, how to select the bits that are working best and how to optimise your marketing budget for next year.

What are you getting wrong?

That’s a pretty loaded question but it’s a good way to really understand the value of what you’re doing already when setting a marketing budget. There’s one critical question you need to constantly ask yourself:

“Am I able to track the return on investment for every £1 we spend on marketing?”

If the answer is ‘no’ then you need to re-consider that part of your marketing strategy. Ideally. you’ll be able to implement lead tracking at every stage of your sales process. This means that you’ll be able to track customers from the moment they first discover you, right the way through to purchase, re-purchase and beyond.

What channels work best?

Take a look at every channel you use, whether it’s email marketing, social media management, television advertising or something else. Consider how much money you spent on them and the outcomes you achieved. When considering your budget, make sure you factor in the cost of any time you or someone else will have to spend performing tasks around data and insight for instance. Also be sure to include outcomes against marketing spend for design, copywriting, email marketing or social media specialists – or any other external digital marketing agency services.
Getting the right answer requires a detailed look at your analytics services and an excellent understanding of your entire marketing pipeline.

Monitoring is critical

Setting the initial marketing budget is only the first part of the challenge. You need to constantly monitor everything you’re doing and adjust it to ensure you’re being as effective as possible. Just because something is working right now, doesn’t mean it will still be working in 6 months. Most importantly, what are you going to measure? What metrics matter to your business? Is it cost of acquisition of a warm lead? Perhaps you’re interested in overall traffic from specific sources to your website and landing pages? Social Media following might be more important. If you’re using paid advertising then is the cost per click more important to you than overall conversion rate?
For most of our clients and customers, the answer to that question depends on a number of things, but most importantly, it depends on the overall business objectives their marketing exists to support. To ensure your marketing is aligned with the overall business goals, you’ll need to have absolute clarity in those goals from the outset. Only then can you set up monitoring and measurement that gives you a clear picture of how well you’re doing. In any case, good reporting provides the evidence your board will need to see to understand the value of your marketing efforts – and with the emergence of digital marketing as the primary marketing most businesses need to do to be successful, tracking and measuring has never been easier.
If you don’t have the time or expertise to regularly check up on your digital marketing performance, then you might want to consider asking a specialist digital marketing agency to do so. One of our digital marketing scientists at Saucy Horse would be delighted to help so why not contact them today?