How much should my small business budget for marketing?
Are you wondering what your small business should be budgeting for your annual marketing? Or maybe questioning if you could have allocated your budget more effectively?
Well, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. For starters, your marketing spend will vary depending on your industry, where your company is as far as growth mode, and so much more. It’s also true that not all companies remain consistent with what they include in their marketing budgets year after year, which makes this a tough question to answer.
In this article, we will share ways to focus your marketing efforts and track your progress to gain consistent business growth.
How to determine your focus
By focusing your efforts – on the right audience, in the right places at the right time — you can track your success year over year to better align your marketing dollars in the places where you see the most return on investment.
Let’s make this happen.
You’ve heard the phrase: you must spend money to make money. Well, I hate to break it to you, but we aren’t here to debunk this myth: it’s absolutely right. If you are looking to grow, you will need to funnel more spending into your marketing budget. So the actual dollar amount or percentage for your marketing budget will heavily be determined by where your small business currently is in terms of growth and how much more of that growth you want to experience.
We recommend finding a starting point by answering these questions:
- What are your goals? Be very specific.
- How strong is your competition?
- What are your competitors doing in the market?
- What are your problem areas? (these are areas of opportunity)
After answering, take a look at your current marketing strategy and create a new approach that will align with your goals, giving you a competitive edge in your industry.
Think back on the marketing goals you listed out. If anything moves you further from these goals, then it is an unnecessary distraction. New opportunities can be great, but just keep in mind where you want your business to be and what it will take to get you there. When making your marketing decisions, prioritize your goals.
While creating your marketing plan and building a budget that aligns with your goals, these three things should remain at the forefront:
Focus on the needs of your customers
Your customers are the ones helping you grow. Listen to what they are saying and understand their behaviors and motivations. Don’t ignore or disregard their feedback – it’s invaluable.
Focus on the right message that offers value
As much as every business wants to market to the largest amount of individuals as possible, you can’t sell to everyone. Once you familiarize yourself with your target demographic, add value that will resonate with those individuals in your messaging.
Focus on analyzing your data
If you do not already have this information automated, we can help. Our data warehouse can measure the data of your marketing and business efforts, and display a close-to-real-time summary of your ROI and overall performance. Its customized data reporting can help to pinpoint the problem areas and show where you are having the most success.
Ultimately, marketing takes time and lots of energy. The biggest challenge for setting a marketing budget is deciding on what priorities will make the most significant impact on your business. It’s okay to start small; you won’t see results overnight. You can’t expect to run a marathon in a day if you don’t train for it –you have to be consistent, taking small, dedicated strides to see lasting results and growth.
If you are looking to grow but just don’t know where to start, contact us today! We can start you off with a free marketing assessment to learn how UpSwell’s expert services can make your marketing strategy a success.