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  • Writer's pictureMike Stein

The Ultimate Guide To Building Your B2B Marketing Budget

Updated: Sep 28, 2023



In the world of business, every decision you make has the power to shape your company’s trajectory. Among these decisions, one that holds a special place is setting aside funds for your marketing efforts.

Think of it like preparing a sumptuous meal for your business; without the right ingredients and recipe (i.e. budget), your dish might fall flat. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to dive into the world of creating a marketing budget that’s as enticing as it is effective!



What Is a Marketing Budget?

A marketing budget is the money you allocate to promote your products or services, build brand awareness, and attract potential customers. Just like you wouldn’t throw a party without a budget, you shouldn’t embark on your marketing journey without one. This magical number is your ticket to navigating the dynamic landscape of business promotion.


Why Should You Have a Marketing Budget?

“It’s just advertising. Why should I invest in it?” says the skeptic. The truth is, allocating a budget for marketing can pay dividends in the long run. Here are a few key benefits:


- Better Planning for Success

Picture this: you’re planning a cross-country road trip. Without a map and a rough idea of the expenses, you’ll get lost or run out of fuel. Similarly, a marketing budget gives you a roadmap. It lays out your goals, helps you allocate resources wisely, and ensures you don’t lose steam halfway through.


- Accountability and Tracking

Have you ever caught yourself wondering where your dollars went? A budget offers a solution. It gives you a clear picture of your expenditures and allows you to assess your ROI. You’ll know exactly what’s working and where you need to tweak your strategies.


- Taming the Spending Monster

Running a business without a budget is like grocery shopping on an empty stomach; you’re bound to overspend. With a marketing budget, you keep your expenses in check, preventing overspending and ensuring every cent counts.


- Flexibility and Adaptability

Markets are like the weather; they can change in the blink of an eye. A marketing budget grants you the flexibility to adapt to these changes without throwing your financial stability out the window. You can seize new opportunities, pivot when necessary, and experiment without losing balance!



10 Practical Tips for Creating a Budget

Let’s zoom out and look at the bigger picture. Running a business isn’t easy; creating a budget for it can be confusing, demanding, and time-consuming. To make the process a bit easier, here are ten tips for laying out an effective budget:


- Check the Industry Standards

Just as you wouldn’t wear pajamas to a black-tie event, your budget should align with your industry’s norms. Research and understand the average marketing spend for your sector. It will give you a ballpark figure to start with.


- Make a Spreadsheet

Ditch the old-school notebook and embrace technology. Create a spreadsheet to document every budget aspect, from expenses to projections. Not only does this streamline the process but it also allows for more accessible updates and adjustments.


- Analyze Company Costs

Get down to the nitty-gritty. Review your fixed and variable costs to gain a comprehensive understanding of your financial obligations. This tip will help you allocate funds more effectively and avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.


- Negotiate Company Costs With Suppliers

Like haggling at a flea market, negotiating with suppliers can lead to significant savings. Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts, bulk rates, or special deals. Every dollar saved here is a dollar that you can reinvest in your business efforts.


- Estimate Company Revenue

Look into your crystal ball and make a revenue prediction for the upcoming period. While it might not be 100% accurate, a realistic estimate will give you a solid foundation for your budget.


- Determine Gross Profit Margin

Understanding your gross profit margin is like knowing the recipe to your grandma’s secret sauce — it’s essential. This percentage will guide you in setting aside the right amount of your revenue for business endeavors.


- Project Company Cash Flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. By projecting your cash flow, you’ll know exactly when funds are available for your budget. This trick prevents financial hiccups that could otherwise derail your campaigns.


- Consider Seasonal and Industry Trends

Would you wear a winter coat in the scorching summer sun? Of course not! The same applies to your budget. Your budget should adapt to seasonal and industry trends. Anticipate peak periods and market fluctuations to ensure your budget remains relevant year-round.


- Set Company Spending Goals

Think of your budget as a wish list for your business. Define clear spending goals for each initiative! Whether buying a new company vehicle or launching a new ad campaign, knowing exactly what you want to achieve can help you stick to your budget.


- Monitor and Re-Evaluate

Your business isn’t static, and neither should your budget be. Regularly review your budget to align with your evolving goals and market conditions. Being proactive helps you seize opportunities and mitigate risks effectively.



How To Create a Marketing Budget

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s dive into the details. Here are four steps involved in creating a marketing budget:


- Set Marketing Goals and Objectives

Like setting sail without a destination, starting your marketing journey without clear goals leads to aimless wandering. In the grand scheme of your marketing strategy, the goal is to construct a sales funnel or stimulate direct sales, thereby augmenting your gross revenue. When sculpting a marketing budget that works, it’s crucial to delineate immediate and future marketing objectives.

Additionally, setting key performance indicators (KPIs) will offer a clear direction and allow you to measure the success of your marketing efforts. Let’s have a little fun and frame these goals into bite-sized treats! For instant gratification lovers, here are some short-term delights:

  • Get 20 new social media followers every month.

  • Trim your website bounce rate by 3%.

  • Get five comments on your social media posts every week.

Now, for those who enjoy the thrill of the long haul, here are your long-term treats:

  • Develop a savvy marketing automation flow paired with email marketing to deduct three hours from your team’s workweek.

  • Bring in 15% of new customers over two years.

  • Be on the first page of Google for your four keywords.

Every goal should have a timeline and associated KPI to give you something tangible to work toward, evaluate and create better strategies around in the future!


- Conduct Market Research

Market research is your recipe for success. Understand your target audience, preferences, pain points, and where they hang out. This knowledge shapes your budget allocation and strategy!

Think of a buyer persona as your imaginary best friend who fits your ideal customer profile. You could have a small tribe of these personas, but let’s not exceed a high-five number. After all, casting the net too wide could dilute your marketing efforts.


- Choose Marketing Channels

Choose the right marketing channels that resonate with your audience. To maximize your marketing budget, you should splash your cash where your buyer personas like to hang out. Group the marketing channels to keep on your radar into the following main categories:

  • Digital: Digital marketing channels are like the new kids on the block. They include everything from social media marketing and online content creation to automated or manual email marketing. You can also consider online advertising with pay-per-click or social media ads (also known as paid media) and the all-important search engine optimization.

  • Inbound: Some inbound marketing channels are also in the digital group. These channels include SEO, business blogs, videos on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, e-books, and other content strategies.

  • Outbound: Outbound marketing can play hard to get when it comes to tracking, so it’s a good idea to mix it up with some inbound marketing. The most trackable form of outbound marketing is email marketing. At the same time, other members of this group include TV and radio advertisements, direct mail marketing, press releases, trade shows, and promotional products.

  • Brand Awareness: These channels might include social media marketing and advertising, content marketing, public relations, and video marketing and advertising.

- Choose a Marketing Budget Strategy

Now, let’s talk about an all-important question that’s probably teetering on your thoughts: how much should you allocate to your marketing budget? Is there a magic number out there? Here are four popular methods:

  • Revenue-Based: Allocate a percentage of your revenue to marketing. A standard recommendation is 20-25% for small to medium-sized businesses.

  • Competition-Matched: Match your competitors’ spending with a sprinkle of innovation to stand out.

  • Top-Down: No fixed price dictates how much you should earmark for the quarter or year. Rather, you whip up a budget figure and create a marketing feast within that budget.

  • Goal-Driven: Base your budget on specific marketing goals, such as lead generation or brand awareness.


Marketing Budget Mistakes

Budgeting isn’t a walk in the park, and mistakes happen. Here are a few to avoid:


- Spending Less Money on Effective Methods

Businesses can be reluctant to learn new tricks, especially regarding their tried-and-true marketing processes. Just because a method has been successful in the past doesn’t mean it’s an evergreen solution. Remember, the consumer market is unpredictable, subject to constant shifts and changes. What’s hot today might be ice-cold tomorrow.


It’s crucial to keep your marketing methods fresh and flexible, investing in a blend of proven favorites and promising newcomers. This balanced approach will help you stay in step with evolving market trends and capitalize on the advantages of modern marketing tools like automation and personalization.


- Doing Misguided Marketing Shots

Playing pin the tail on the donkey with your marketing strategies can be a financial gamble. Diving deep into your consumer data is essential to craft marketing campaigns that hit the bullseye. However, tainted data can be a wrench in the works, diminishing the effectiveness of your marketing. It’s time to clean up your analytics, sweeping away any inconsistencies or anomalies before they eat into your budget!


For instance, if you’re running a Facebook Ads campaign for your products or services, ensure that the data from website visits and conversions matches Facebook’s data. That way, you can get the most out of your budget while getting closer to achieving your desired goals.


- Forgetting About Current Customers

In crafting your next big marketing campaign, it’s tempting to spread your net far and wide, hoping to reel in new customers. But remember, it’s often pricier to hook new fish than to keep the ones swimming happily in your tank. Remember, only a select few swim all the way down your sales funnel, and they do so for a reason. Therefore, allocate a portion of your budget to retaining existing customers and nurturing relationships.


Customer loyalty is worth its weight in gold, so giving them the recognition they deserve is integral. Try running campaigns focusing on customer appreciation, like discounts or rewards programs. These will encourage current customers to keep coming back, creating long-term ROI for your business rather than short-term boosts.


- Using Last Year’s Marketing Budget

A new year brings new challenges and opportunities. Relying on last year’s budget without considering market changes can hinder growth. Stay agile by adjusting your budget to current conditions. Take into account market shifts, customer preferences, and competitive landscapes.


Use your existing budget as a baseline for the coming year. Then, you can make top-down adjustments to optimize it for the current marketplace. It’s best to also keep track of new trends that may offer opportunities for growth or cost savings in the future.



Conclusion

Congratulations, savvy business owner! You’re now equipped with the secret recipe for crafting a successful marketing budget. Remember, a well-structured budget isn’t just about numbers; it’s about setting a direction for your marketing efforts, keeping you on track, and turning your business into a success story. So go ahead, sprinkle some financial magic, and watch your marketing campaigns sizzle with results!





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