It’s that time of the year to start putting your 2016 marketing budget and plan together. (More on the marketing plan here.) A marketing budget allows you to strategically place your company and its finances in the right places. It also allows you to really think about what direction your company will go in 2016 from a marketing perspective. It’s important to know where you are spending your marketing dollars and the return on your investment. If you don’t track you, you won’t know.
After completing your marketing plan, it’s time to put pen to paper. Break your marketing budget into 8-10 categories. You don’t have to have some fancy software. Good old Excel will do the job. These categories will cover what you want to include in your budgeted line items:
Within these categories you can breakdown into detail even more as I’ve explained next to each one above. Again, this allows you to really see where you are investing your money. You can usually pull reports from your accounting department to give you an idea of what you’ve spent in the past. If this is not the case, you may have to do additional research to find out. Most of the time you can find membership, sponsorship, and trade show fees on the respective organization website. None of your marketing budget includes labor unless you are utilizing an outside consultant.
This budget should be given to your CFO or controller for budgeting purposes, too. They will appreciate you giving it to them. It also gives you an out to all those people who call and want a donation for something that really doesn’t make sense for your marketing strategy.
Budgeting is not always fun but gives you perimeters to follow and an idea of how you are spending your money. It helps you stay in alignment with your marketing strategy and keeps you focused. Having a plan and adhering to it takes discipline.
For your assistance in putting together your budget, I have assembled an extensive marketing budget and a simple marketing budget. Depending on your budget and your staff, you’ll want to choose one that is most easy for you and your staff to track. I have put together an extensive marketing budget here and a simple marketing budget here.