What should a marketing plan budget be like?
Managing a department’s resources is always a task that is full of challenges, and even more so when speaking about product marketing and the actions to undertake depend on seasonality and variations in demand.
The marketing department must draft the marketing plan budget far enough in advance, but it also must provide a margin for changes and adaptations that can be requested with no prior notice. And, now more than ever before, it is very important to have control over where your resources are going and be able to adjust them to new circumstances.
A marketing budget includes all the areas in which the business is going to invest money to be able to put into motion the sales and promotion projects – generally quarterly. More than in other departments, a marketing plan can take up many resources over various channels; therefore, it is essential to define your resources well from the start and avoid undesired extra costs.
A digital marketing budget template should align with the SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Focused, and Timebound. It should also be flexible. As always, the challenge is to optimize expenses to achieve the best possible results.
The 5 main areas of a marketing budget model
- Team: the internal employees that are going to undertake different tasks associated with the marketing projects – from the product contents to promotion. Here, you should take into account extra costs for onboarding and equipment required by each employee.
- Freelancers: external employees who will support the team for specific tasks and temporary campaigns – like design tasks, translation, and specialized analyses for certain channels.
- Software: the digital programs that allow for management and creation tasks to be undertaken. This includes software to automate data management, analytics, publication on social networks and/or the internet, and design of digital or print materials.
- Content: marketing doesn’t exist without words and images – especially when speaking of product marketing. This section includes all the resources geared towards the creation of catalog content, informational content, website and blog content, images, videos. etc.
- Advertising: the star area associated with marketing departments. Digital marketing plans to put ads on the internet, websites, sponsored content, collaborations, social networks, and/or campaigns over traditional, physical channels.
Every company may have its expenditure broken down in a different way. The marketing director has to decide what line items will be for each area/action and assess the results to be able to consider adjustments and changes if a campaign or strategy does not work.
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What to include in a marketing budget model
Five areas seem easy to control in an example of a marketing plan budget. Even so, things can get more complicated when we stop to review all the intricacies that may crop up with so many personnel, advertising, and technology resources.
That extra cost to register a domain name. Translation of a website copy to Taiwanese. A consultant that identified the best colors for your brand identity.
Dozens of small tasks can end up representing a significant expense. Therefore, the marketing department must group the foreseen tasks for each element correctly:
- The website: domains, web hosting, updates, SSL certificates, maintenance, design, customer recruitment workflow optimization, international versions, etc.
- PPC (pay-per-click) ad campaigns
- Display and retargeting ads
- Ad campaigns on social networks
- SEO and SEM analysis and optimization
- Contents: product texts, copy, success stories, whitepapers, ebooks, guides and tutorials, use or assembly manuals, etc.
- Recording, editing, and animation of videos
- Graphics for ads, infographics, banners, pop-ups, newsletters, etc.
- Events (both digital and in-person) with their associated costs for participation, attendance, travel, sponsorship, merchandising, materials, etc.
- Social networks, in terms of maintenance and software to automate their management and analysis
- Promotions with collaborators or partners
- Catalog design
- Photos for products and promotional resources
- Printing of catalogs and marketing resources in paper (brochures, signs, banners, stands at fairs, etc.)
- Online analysis tools and analysts
- Mailing campaigns
- Marketing technologies for workflows, creation, automation, and analysis
- Gifts and prizes for clients, partners, and B2B events
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Steps to creating your digital marketing budget
- Be familiar with the current resources in your company
- Define a maximum amount for expenses
- Study the purchase journey stages for your target audience and the points of attack
- Adjust your budget to your marketing goals
- Study ROI (return on investment) constantly
- Readjust the budget for the tasks with better and worse performance
Keys to optimizing your marketing budget
While there is no universal digital marketing budget example, take note of the following tips to improve the results of your quarterly activities.
This means undertaking an analysis of the markets that you operate on and the competitive environment, in addition to studying your target audience, their needs, concerns, and buying cycle. In addition to helping you to make your marketing campaigns more fruitful, this information will be a great help for your sales team.
To be able to characterize each target audience, it is important to do research through interviews, surveys, and group activities like roundtable discussions and product testing.
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Digital content marketing
The content is still the king of marketing, so much so that a report by Semrush indicated that 91% of companies do some type of content marketing.
Don’t forget that creating and distributing quality content that is of value for your target audience is a very useful way to ensure that your first encounter with a user is a successful one. You’ll have more chances of that user becoming loyal to your brand and this will allow you to position yourself as an expert leader in your sector.
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Software for content: PIM
Any marketing team has times of true panic when they have to launch new collections, update products on a website, and create catalogs for the next season. Your product information can end up being out of date and lost amongst thousands of folders and Excel files.
To solve this problems, the best companies are already beginning to discover the usefulness of automation technology. A Product Information Management (PIM) tool helps you to have all your product contents under control and organized in a single place, in the cloud, accessible from anywhere and in real time.
This software is a luxury within the reach of companies of any size to improve communication between departments, members of the marketing team, international branches. In fact, PIM solutions are created with marketing departments in mind.
→ Free download! Read our PIM guide for beginners from start to finish and get to know why these tools are so successful
Having a good idea of what your competition is doing is essential to helping you determine what to do, how, where, and with what resources. This will help you to ensure that you won’t lose your competitive edge at any time.
And even more important than paying attention to the numbers is to pay attention to the quality of the actions undertaken by your competitors. What do their clients complain about? Is there anything lacking that you can contribute with in the niche? What actions that you can imitate have given good results for your competitors? How can you stop being just ‘one more’ in the crowd and stand out?
Website maintenance and optimization
As you know, Google is always updating. Some updates benefit you and others… not so much. In fact, they can make your site traffic plummet.
That’s why it’s very important to have or hire a SEO service. This will help you to guarantee that your website is always ready, up to date, and optimized to be amongst the first results in the search engines and attract organic traffic.
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Online ad campaigns
Depicting effort to online marketing activities on social networks and in search engines is no longer just an option… it is something fundamental! Social media traffic (and social commerce) is one of the main traffic sources that a website can have, in addition to an excellent way to gain potential clients.
Joining forces with collaborators to promote your products by means of influencers or on specialized channels for your sector is increasingly more important for a digital marketing plan. Listening to and reading the comments of your potential audience on the social networks also provides very valuable data in terms of trends and what customers value when purchasing a product or trying a new brand.
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Workshops and digital events
While in this day and age the majority of the budget is probably for online activities, you should not forget about this offline part. If you wish to get greater brand recognition or release new products or collections, you should think about organizing industry events or participating in events organized by others.
These activities are quite expensive, but you will get to appear in the main media outlets and leading magazines for your sector, in addition to attracting potential clients.
What’s more, this branch of marketing is currently leaning towards the digital environment as well. There are increasingly more online events being held like webinars, seminars, and workshops – and these can be open or paid events. They are much less expensive to organize and will allow you to create ties with other allies from your industry while attracting mentions on social networks.
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You are ready to begin to hash out your budget for a digital marketing plan, and we can support you with a tool that will be most useful to you: a PIM solution that you can use for free for 30 days to better organize your team and product marketing resources.