How to Determine Your Monthly Marketing Budget
Disciplined marketing teams are well-aware of their monthly, quarterly, and annual marketing budgets and spend. While there must always be room for adjustments and flexibility, there should also be a diligence to working toward a goal and staying on target with budget.
Staying within a monthly marketing budget is a constant challenge for most marketing teams as they are often asked to conduct one-off projects that pop up unexpectedly and were not in the marketing plan. There are times it is necessary to react to market needs that were not foreseen, or perhaps develop a new campaign based on an urgent, short-term opportunity. All these are common scenarios that marketing teams should willingly address, while balancing the need to stay on a monthly marketing budget.
These common challenges plague marketing teams unless there is clear direction on how to handle the issues and a transparency on how the monthly marketing budget is managed. Best practice indicates that there be a specific amount set aside each month for such unexpected requests. Based on historical data, it should be straightforward to identify an amount to set aside.
Now let’s look at the planned activities. There are likely many activities that you will conduct all year long on a consistent basis. These are easily accounted for with the same amount allocated to each month. Other activities may take place all in one month, or perhaps over the course of a quarter. To stay on track with your annual marketing budget, you will need to know how and when these expenses will hit the budget. Lay it out up front. If you simply monitor it throughout the year with a cavalier attitude and do not conduct checks and balances, there is a good chance you will end up over (or under) budget at the end of the year. Neither are good scenarios.
By completing the process of documenting your monthly marketing budget at the beginning of the year, you will know exactly how you are doing at any point throughout the year. If there is a significant change in business needs mid-way through the year, it will be easy for you to discuss the budget adjustments necessary to support the change.
For more information on how to set a monthly marketing budget, download our latest guide: “5 Critical Steps for Planning Your 2018 Marketing Budget” or if you would like to discuss the budget planning processes in more detail, contact us today.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.