Making a Case for Your Marketing Budget
An effective marketing strategy can improve the bottom line, from increasing sales and customer loyalty to reducing costs. But it is also essential that you have an intelligent plan that you can implement effectively. Marketing budgets work best when tied to specific objectives–rather than being ad hoc or based on wishful thinking. So before you start planning that new campaign, figure out what measurable results you want to achieve and make sure there’s enough money available. The more strategic you are about your marketing plans, the more likely you will be able to get the most bang for your buck. The following are facts in making a case for your marketing budget, according to pain management specialist Dr. Jordan Sudberg.
1. Create current and future projections: With some creative thinking, you should be able to predict which areas of your business might benefit most by investing in a marketing initiative such as advertising. For instance, if your company sells products with a short shelf-life, developing a regular supply of replenishable items could be worthwhile. If your niche market changes over time, it may be wise to invest heavily in one aspect of marketing while maintaining smaller investments in others. A good rule of thumb is to think three years ahead and then double the investment accordingly.
2. Determine critical success factors: To make a strong case for a marketing budget increase, you first need to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve. This will help you determine whether there is value in spending more money on marketing versus other options, like expanding product lines or improving service. You’ll also need to know how much each component of a marketing program contributes to overall performance.
3. Identify your organization’s core competencies: What drives your company’s growth? What does it take to keep customers coming back? These questions will guide your search for answers about what makes your operation unique and valuable and thus determine which aspects of your marketing should receive greater attention. Once you’ve got these answers, you’ll have a solid basis for determining whether your marketing efforts are necessary.
4 Develop a clear budgeting process: Planning a marketing budget requires two steps: establishing a baseline and updating it periodically to reflect changing circumstances. To create a baseline, you list down everything happening since you made your last update. If things have changed, add them to the list. If not, leave them off. Next, evaluate your current situation against your baseline. Which elements have increased or decreased? How much money is needed to bring the whole budget up to date? Finally, look at any existing resources you already have access to, including cash reserves, inventory levels, and credit capacity.
5. Conduct due diligence: Now that you’ve gathered information about your current situation, you need to check whether the numbers support your argument for a marketing budget increase. For instance, do you need $15,000 per month in magazine advertising – when a competitor puts out similar ads at only half that amount? Do you need to spend so much on direct mail brochures? If not, it’s important to reevaluate which aspects of your marketing you should include in the next planning phase.
6. Meet with stakeholders: Don’t forget to talk to your employees before making a final decision. You may think that you’re just giving orders, but if your staff thinks the marketing budget needs a trim, you’ve likely set yourself up for a fight. Take time to explain your rationale; don’t make assumptions about people’s feelings unless you ask them directly.
According to pain management specialist Dr. Jordan Sudberg, making a case for your marketing budget can be difficult; it takes an objective approach and careful thought. The best way to win over your board is by showing financial proof of the results a marketing budget can yield. So, get ready to present a plan that proves the merits of increasing your marketing budget.