It has been my experience that small businesses often under estimate the cost of marketing. For example, did you know that the average cost for a website, on the low end, is $3,000? Did you know that a integrated marketing campaign can cost upwards of $90,000? Some large agencies even charge nearly $8,000 for a branded PowerPoint shell. That's just the tip of the ice burg because not only does it cost money to hire the expert, you must also budget for execution of the marketing tactics. You've heard it before, you have to spend money to make money, and the fact of the matter is, it's true. Here are some tips to help you budget for execution of your tactics.
Your marketing budget shouldn't ever be based on what's “left over” once all your other business expenses are covered. Research states small businesses (making under five million in annual revenue) should allocate seven to eight percent of their revenues to marketing. This should be divided into two separate categories. The first: cost to develop and promote your brand across all channels – websites, blogs etc. The second: cost of promoting your business such as campaigns, advertising and events.
A budget forecast should be included in all marketing plans, so not only do you need to have an idea of what you are going to spend you should have a plan of how and where you will spend it. This plan should be revisited throughout the year, as well as tracked in order to gauge the return on your investment. Marketing landscapes, and launching new products or services all affect your bottom line so it's important to focus on what works and what doesn't for a specific time frame (typically one year.) Marketing is often trial and error, don't repeat what doesn't work.