Your marketing plan is only as good as how well it’s implemented. And your marketing budget will mobilize those campaign strategies. Here are some tips to get your business promotion rolling.
You’ve probably heard of Apple’s unconventional success story. Before it became the legendary tech company it is today, it nearly turned extinct at one point in time.
Thanks to Steve Jobs, their non-techy savant, their brand not only overcame a crisis but was propelled all the way to the top. Apple became a household name because of its excellent marketing strategy.
Since then, businesses of all sizes have tried to duplicate the same amount of success Apple had by stepping up their marketing game.
But what does it really take to succeed in marketing? Gimmicks? Celebrity endorsements? Viral videos on social media? Although they’ll give your brand its five minutes of fame, sensationalism isn’t sustainable.
If you really want to succeed and sustain that success, you’ll need a marketing plan and budget to implement it. To kick things off, let’s first define what a marketing plan is.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a document that details a company’s advertising strategy and its marketing goals. It includes a comprehensive report of the brand’s current marketing situation, the target market, the campaign goals, and the marketing mix.
A marketing plan outline commonly includes the following:
1. Situation Analysis
An overview of the company’s current performance as to how it’s fairing in the market. This will serve as a benchmark in establishing marketing goals. This section will discuss the company’s offered products or services, its marketing challenges, and its competitors.
2. Target Market
A detailed description of the target demographic. The target audience profile will be based on their age, gender, and other important characteristics.
3. Marketing Goals
This section breaks down the specific goals and metrics for the marketing campaign. The said goals should indicate the timeline, the target measurement, and the strategies to meet them.
4. Marketing Strategy
The tactic section is the meat of the marketing plan. It discusses the marketing efforts and how they will be implemented. This includes the list of future PR events, trade shows, special promotions, and all other marketing efforts. The strategy section can come in a calendar format or a spreadsheet.
5. Marketing Budget
Lastly, the section that mobilizes the entire plan―is the budget. This breaks down the costs associated with the proposed tactics. It will summarize the expenses for the materials, venue, and required fees to conduct the campaign. As this is the most crucial part of the marketing plan, let’s further look into the marketing budget.
Startup Marketing Budget
A startup’s marketing budget is the projected cost of all promotional efforts. This will take into account the media fees, the manpower, the platforms to be used, and all other required payments to execute a campaign.
Some of the common items included in the budget are:
- Expert fees (Marketing managers and assistants)
- Event space fees
- Travel costs
- Promotional materials (banners, pamphlets, billboards, etc.)
- Talent fees for endorsement events
- Marketing communications
- Advertising agency commissions
The list can extend based on what strategies you plan to pursue. Keep in mind that the cost will heavily depend on what type of activities will be conducted. A simple banner posting is drastically less expensive than a TV commercial. But of course, the marketing exposure would consequently be less as well.
To ensure that you won’t go overboard with the whole marketing campaign, you need to create your startup’s marketing budget.
How to Create a Marketing Budget
A marketing budget will save you from a lot of financial headaches. It reduces the possibility of overspending and helps you avoid unplanned splurges. Not only does it serve as a financial road map, but it also helps you determine the return on investment of your marketing plan.
Now that we’ve established its importance, here are some tips on creating your marketing budget.
1. Compare ROI and Spending
The first step in creating your marketing budget is to assess where you are, money-wise. Review your budgetary goals and see if you’re sticking to them.
Calculate the amount of cash coming in and cash out in the company. You have to identify your spending range so you can properly allocate your finances.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) suggests that startups with less than $5 million in revenue should allocate 7-8 percent budget to marketing. Although the percentage serves as a guide number, the SBA suggests that small businesses shouldn’t compromise their marketing budget just based on the leftovers of the business spending.
2. Follow Competitors
Go where your competitors are. As the old saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Find out which platforms your competitors are tapping into and see if you can establish your brand presence there.
Additionally, you can take a look at the latest marketing trends and see if you have the resources to jump on them. Your competitors are most likely leveraging these trends to draw in the public.
3. Budget your Activities
As mentioned, the cost of marketing tactics dramatically varies. Some are ten times more expensive than others. Take time to research the estimated cost of those marketing trends you plan to pursue.
There will be a number of factors that can affect your estimated figures, such as the supplier fee and the material cost. Be sure to do an in-depth evaluation of your industry. Since the Internet is also a go-to platform for marketing, you can look into the budget breakdowns of digital media promotions.
4. Cut Costs
The marketing budget helps you discover the areas where you may be overspending by giving you an overview of your spending activities. You can then redirect those amounts to more important aspects of your marketing plan.
Furthermore, you can also determine which avenues you can find a cheaper alternative. For example, if you plan to organize an endorsement campaign, you can connect with online influencers instead of celebrities.
5. Estimate Manpower Fees
Lastly, and most importantly, you’ll need to plan out who you will hire to oversee your marketing campaign. It’s crucial to hire the right marketing experts to ensure that you stick within the budget for your activities. You can tap into advertising agencies or assemble a dedicated marketing team.
Hire Marketing Experts
If you want to stick to your marketing budget, make sure to do everything right the first time. As a startup, you can’t afford a do-over of a failed plan. To avoid making common marketing mistakes, hire professionals who know how to play the field.
At Full Scale, we have a team of marketing experts who can put your plan into action. We have creative graphic designers, content writers, and project managers who can create unique materials for your brand. We can also help you assemble a dedicated software team to create your website and mobile app.
Interested? Talk to us!