It might seem a little early to start planning for 2018. We JUST finished summer and we’re getting ready to enter the fall season. But now that you’ve thought about it, you realize there are only a couple of months left in the year, and you have a slight bout of anxiety knowing that you have a lot to do in preparation for the new year. Have you thought about where you’re going to allocate your marketing dollars? Have you set aside a healthy budget for marketing?
Now is a good time to start thinking about it. If you’re just now in the mindset to start planning, you’re already behind. But don’t panic, there’s hope (and help)!
One of the first questions you’re probably asking is “How much should I really be spending on marketing?” Well, as much as we love magic, unfortunately we can’t make a genie appear to give you all the answers. But we can offer guidance and provide you some insight on how to start planning.
Here are a few questions to ponder.
What industry are you in?
Being aware of what others in your industry are doing and spending is important, and it’s valuable knowledge. On average, marketing budgets are around 11% of a company’s total budget, but percentages vary by industry. Do some research and compare. Knowing what the average is for your industry is helpful and can give you a starting point if you’re feeling a bit lost. Here’s an article with some juicy info about industry averages and who’s spending what: http://deloitte.wsj.com/cmo/2017/01/24/who-has-the-biggest-marketing-budgets/
Do you know what your budget should include?
Budget allocation can vary. Most companies include direct expenses like advertising, trade promotions, direct marketing, etc. into their marketing budgets. Other companies may also include things like expenses for their marketing employees. Knowing what to include is crucial to maximizing your budget. Again, it can also depend on your industry. Be sure to allow an adequate amount for things such as training, research and analytics, etc. and of course, do your part to research and keep up to date on trends. Do you have enough for a digital marketing campaign? Social media? What about traditional media such as outdoor or direct mail? Ah, so many questions! Which leads us to…
How do you know you’re making the right decisions?
Determining budgets is scary, period. Not being able to predict the future and worrying about whether you’re allocating to the right things makes it more terrifying. Of course, all you want is to make sure you’re making the right decisions and are being the most cost-effective (and efficient) as possible. Luckily, there’s plenty of help for you, you just have to seek it out. Now is a good time to consider seeking a partner—someone that has the expertise you might be lacking, and the direction and guidance you need to make sure your budget is being maximized to its fullest potential. Keep in mind that an agency partner is just that: a partner; a partner that looks out for your best interest and wants to make sure you get the biggest return on your dollars.
The first step is to have a strong, sturdy foundation. Once you have your foundation built, next on the list is to develop a plan. If you feel like these are something you either don’t have, or feel like you can be stronger in these areas, give us a shout and let’s talk it through.
Asen is a full-service marketing agency with experience getting clients the maximum ROI for their marketing budget. It’s not too late to plan for 2018, so let’s hop on the train together and ride into it knowing it will be the best year yet. (We have food and drinks in the fridge, by the way. And an office cat, so… all aboard!).