Your small business needs a plan. And planning early is always best. But along with your marketing plan, you need to create a marketing budget so you can track how much you’re spending and where to best allocate your marketing dollars.

The goal is always to get the highest return for your efforts, and without a solid marketing budget in place, it can be hard to effectively track your growth and profitability. Now that we’re more than halfway through 2021, it’s a good time to start thinking about developing your marketing campaigns and building your budget for next year.

The new year means a fresh start (–and new opportunities!)

It’s not too early to be thinking about your 2022 marketing plan. A new year means a fresh start and a chance to discover new marketing opportunities. Getting a jumpstart on your marketing plans for the year can help your small business get ahead, get organized, and be laser-focused on where you want to spend your time and money. By starting your plans sooner than later, you’ll be able to take your time researching new trends, reviewing successful marketing campaigns, and taking a deeper dive into what’s been working and what has not. This will allow you to create a more informed plan overall.

Review your 2021 budget

We tell clients that the best way to begin is to review your 2020 marketing strategy. Look at what was spent and where it was spent. What were the results? Was it direct mail campaigns that yielded the highest return? And another marketing activity just didn’t work? Maybe shifting some of your marketing budget over to direct mail is the way to go. Take a good look at what campaigns / marketing activities resonated with your audience and adjust your budget for 2022.

It’s also very important to note that when reviewing your budget, and deciding how much to allocate for the new year, you position your marketing as an investment, rather than an expense. Marketing your brand helps grow your business and earn you more profits down the line. By looking at your marketing budget as an investment in your business, you’ll focus more on enhancing your strategies and long-term success rather than making it an option for cutting costs.

Set goals, objectives, and create a timeline

Set measurable goals and objectives for the new year that are attainable based on your resources, time, and past achievements. Setting these goals and benchmarks will help to plan for the long-term success of your business. Based on a marketing survey, 40% of respondents suggested that aligning your marketing budget with your overall company goals is the single most important factor for the success of your marketing strategy.

Once you’ve set these goals and align them with your budget, create a timeline that serves as checkpoints throughout the year and review your progress —monthly and quarterly— to make adjustments and discover where your business is experiencing growth.

If you’re ready to begin developing your new marketing plan and are looking to get advice from the pros, UpSwell is here to help! We will recommend strategies that are proven to work for your industry and help you make the most out of your marketing budget to drive results and grow your business.

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