Marketing Plan and Marketing Budget are important tools for any business, especially small businesses that don’t have the resources of larger corporations. Without a plan, you might be going in the wrong direction; however, it’s very hard to keep on track and that will significantly limit your overall success. Marketing Plan and Budget Create your yearly goals: quantifiable (numerical) goals like total sales, profit, exact number of sales, and breakdowns of products sold by channel or by category as desired. Identify marketing activities, such as advertising, promotions, product sales, and marketing costs, which are vital to your company’s future growth. Your budget should cover these activities, as well as any extra activities that develop over the year.
Write down your goals, your estimated budget, your marketing strategies, and your extra activities, such as promotions, that develop over the year. Evaluate your budget against your goals. Are you proceeding in the right track? A good marketing plan will help you make the necessary adjustments as necessary.
Write down your business goals. Establish whether these goals are to grow your existing customer base, attract new customers, or reduce your costs. Define your ideal customer, which means to identify and target your ideal customer in your marketing budget. If you are establishing a new business, you might want to spend more on advertising. The more customers you are able to attract, the more likely you are to make a profit.
Develop your marketing strategies, which should include the strategies you are using to attract customers. The strategies you choose will depend on how you intend to market your product or service. If you intend to advertise your product through social media advertising, for example, you need to spend a greater portion of your budget on social media advertising than if you were just advertising your product by mail or telephone. If you intend to advertise your product through television, you might not need to invest as much money on television advertising. A marketing strategy that is designed to reach the broadest audience possible should be reflected in your budget.
If you are developing a social media marketing strategy, make sure that the strategies you are using to meet your goals. If you want to attract customers through social media advertising, for example, your marketing budget will need to include advertising on social media websites. If you intend to improve your brand by increasing customer loyalty, your marketing budget might include pay per click advertising and other Pay Per Click strategies. You might also want to consider the impact of promotional marketing activities, such as printed advertising, on your ROI.
Marketing budgets can get out of control because businesses often try to meet all of their marketing needs at once. The best way to manage your marketing budget is to break it down into different categories so that the money you are spending is more easily understood. When you break down your marketing budget, consider whether or not each activity makes up a major chunk of your budget or if they are all small in relation to one another. For example, if you have a marketing budget of $1000, only about 20% of that budget will be spent on promotional activities. This means that if you use promotional activities to gain publicity for your business, your marketing budget is likely to be higher than a business that spends its money on advertisements and promotions but does not use social media networking to gain publicity for their business.