This is the top question I get asked when meeting with new clients (startups, mostly!)
I have my "go to" answers but thought I'd also share some of the other top tips from other marketers I enjoy reading.
1. Do Your Math! (or...pick a number.)
Laurel Mintz addresses the "What is Your Budget/What Should it Be?" first dance that most makreting engagments face. Your marketing campaign results will depend on the amount you spend, so if you have to pick a number, new companies should plan to spend 12-20 percent of expected annual revenue, established companies 6-12. (Companies less than a year old should not 'market' per se but spend their efforts getting things set up... social media pages, marketing stack etc.
My own process... I start with campaign goal (a SMART one of course!) What do you need to get done? From that, we can better estimate costs/options.
2. Add it up.
Michael at brandUNIQ , but I like that he states the obvious under his "Task Oriented" approach. There are things that company management will want to do, so put them on a list and add them up. If you're lucky enough to have had good tracking before you were brought in (see point below about marketing tools) you can then put next to those ideas a good idea of what to expect from each. Then get eye contact and written approval to go forth.
My own process. If I'm being brought in new, summarize the above in yosums up a majority of the approachesur Consulting Agreement Deliverables. If you're at the company, ensure you're included in regular managment meetings to update all on how you're doing and what's coming up.
3. Plan some tests!
Brook at Figments sets up some great buckets of what you can get expect to get done for various amounts of money and in her finale section hits on my favorite... try new and inexpensive ideas and see what pops. I like the first one... host an event. This can be at a show you're going to, or in a city you'd like to meet new customers, but inviting people to a dinner, or to hear an author, or to a winetasting can be a very human way to connect. (or if money is really tight, test your keywords over a month and see what you learn.)
4. Good Better Best
Since management will always look at any marketing budget and say "why can't we have X" its a productive exercise to show the options available at a glance. Our friends at Whole Brain Marketing layout their approach to this, and some agencies, like our creative friends at the Thirsty Beagle, show their services laid out Chinese Menu style to accomodate this GBB approach.
5. Remember Your Message.
Speaking of keywords, in researching this article, I found all of these companies by typing in marketing budget... so these companies obviously want to connect with companies investigating this topic. (Very top of funnel!) Our friends at Thrive give us many good ideas on the topic in this recent post, but my favorite comes towards the end, reminding us to stay on message. The agree'd upon messages will help you to maximize your effectiveness in all budgeted activities.
Hoping these ideas are helpful to you, and as always, the team at Mediaholix always available for a chat if you'd like to discuss your ideas with a friendly, knowledgable marketing expert.
PS Interested in other marketing tips like spring cleaning your marketing strategy? Click here to check it out.