As the end of the year draws near, it’s time to not only prepare your marketing budget for 2014, but to also reflect on your achievements and challenges faced in 2013. Are you ready for 2014? Strategically planning your 2014 marketing budget is critical if you want to achieve marketing goals such as leads, opportunities and wins.
And don’t forget that the big CEO of your company is going to be measuring your success with the achievement or failure of these goals. Now’s the time to carefully plan how and where you spend your marketing resources, so you get it right.
Carefully Analyze 2013’s Data
Before you even get started with your 2014 marketing budget, you should carefully examine your 2013 marketing data to thoroughly understand and absorb what worked and what didn’t work this past year. The insight that you gain from examining 2013 will help you decide which elements that you’d like to eliminate from your new budget and which elements that you’d like to enhance. Revenue analytics are particularly helpful during the analysis of 2013.
Have a Carefully Laid Out Plan
Whether you’re planning a B2B marketing plan or a B2C marketing plan, you’ll want to establish a basic marketing plan in advance of 2014 that is carefully laid out to ensure that you start the year off on the right foot. You’ll want to set aside a basic marketing plan as well as the funding necessary to implement your marketing plan throughout the entire year to come.
Having a carefully laid out plan will help you to make better informed decisions year round and when the time comes to make new decisions regarding event participation or advertising, etc., you can always refer back to your plan which will make it an invaluable tool for decision-making.
How Much to Spend
The average small business spends between 2-20% of annual gross revenues on marketing efforts. The amount spent will depend upon the industry of the small business and whether or not it’s a new business or an existing more established business.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends that an established company that earns less than $5 million per year allocates 7-8% of revenues for marketing purposes and that this percent should increase if it’s a new start-up business; particularly for industries such as retail and restaurants.
Make sure that your budget includes these expenses:
- Digital Advertising
- Print Advertising
- Event and Trade Show Participation
- Networking Group Memberships
- Social-Media Management
- Professional Photography
- Web site Maintenance
- Graphic Design
- SEO and/or Copywriting Services
- Vehicle Graphics
- Printed Materials such as Flyers and Brochures
- Promotional Items and Branded Clothing
Avoid Over Spending on the Wrong Things
Avoid over spending on the wrong things like sponsorships, trade shows, promotion and advertising. Consider the return investment when planning your budget’s spending allocation. Consider how many leads and/or opportunities have arose from each of these scenarios. How many of these leads/or opportunities later became customers?
Focus Your Budget on Customers
Developing a customer focused budget should play a key role throughout your 2014 marketing budget planning. Instead of focusing on tactic-based budgets, you should center your budget on the customer. Break your customers down into groups and develop year-long campaign plans that focus on your company’s customers.
Don’t forget to also include these things in your budget:
- Budget for Data: Budget allowances are helpful if you require data append services if you have incomplete data.
- Budget for Your Marketing Team: You’ll want to include funding for proper and thorough training to avoid marketers learning by trial and error.
- Building and Enhancing Your Technology Team: In 2014, you’ll want to ensure that sufficient funding has been set aside to build and enhance your marketing technology team. Technology areas to consider improving include: content management systems, marketing automation, customer relationship management, mobile, data warehouse, and analytics solutions.
Finishing Up Your Budget
Remember not to get stuck in your comfort zone and be open to new opportunities in the marketing world. Consider glancing at your competitors for new fresh ideas or ask a trusted advisor for assistance. Now all you have to do is wrap things up nice and tidy, and get ready for the adventures that lay ahead of you in 2014!
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