It’s that time of the year again! No, we’re not talking about gift giving and holiday parties… we’re referring to the dreaded time when businesses need to buckle down and focus in on what’s working and what’s not, to help them thoughtfully develop plans for the New Year.
Right now, you should be working hard to wrap up 2015, analyze your successes and shortfalls, and develop a strategy for how you will use 2016 to achieve your goals. Setting a marketing budget is a critical component of success in the upcoming fiscal year. With the shift to digital marketing and the inbound methodology, it’s more important than ever before to accurately budget the funds needed to execute your marketing plan.
Not sure where to start? Feeling completely overwhelmed by the thought setting a marketing budget that will work for you in 2016? We can help get you moving in the direction.
Check out our Top 4 Considerations for Setting a Marketing Budget:
- Analyze Last Year’s Data
What worked great for you in 2015? What was a total flop? By looking at the data from last year’s marketing initiatives, you can focus in on only the things that worked for you. Cut out those that didn’t and reallocate the funds towards successful initiatives or something new you’ve been wanting to try. You can also use detailed time records to better understand the number of hours spent developing a marketing piece, updating your website, etc, which can help you determine if you need to outsource work or hire more employees in the upcoming year. Get your hands on as much data as you can, review it, and educate yourself to make smarter choices in 2016.
Benchmark Yourself Against Your Competition
Where is your competition spending money? Are they running Google AdWords? Have you seen their Sponsored Ads on Facebook? Do they have a Google Remarketing campaign? Understand where your competition is getting in front of your customers and make sure you’re there too!
Research Upcoming Trends
Not every industry moves at the same pace when it comes to staying on point with digital marketing. However, understanding future digital marketing trends will help you budget for them in 2016… instead of lagging behind in 2017. Review this quick list of key things to consider:
- Mobile compatibility – Make sure your site is responsive; mobile devices are officially the preferred device for internet consumption. In 2014, we saw a fundamental shift in how people use the internet - more accessed it from a mobile device than desktop. So if your site isn’t responsive yet, you’re already late in the game!
- Content Development – Content will remain king and more value will be placed on engaging visuals such as infographics and video. Do you have a staff member that does graphic design or basic video editing, or will you have to outsource? How long will it take to develop these educational pieces and how will you disseminate them?
- Social Strategy – Gone are the days of self-promotion. It takes time and the right person or team of individuals to craft a social media strategy that engages users and builds brand trust. It’s also an invaluable customer service tool, connecting you one-on-one with people. Don’t just go through the motions. Set aside the resources needed to do this right and you’ll reap the rewards!
- Video – Set aside funds for a professional videographer and a micro-budget for video ads. Video ads are anticipated to be big in 2016.
- Team Up Marketing & Sales
This is often where companies miss the mark. Your sales department and marketing department should be best friends. Everyone needs to work together to ensure they are supporting one another and working towards concise, common goals. When communication lines are open, both sides clearly understand what is needed from them to achieve something. Understanding both sides will also help you more adequately plan out your budget. If they aren’t aligned, you’ll likely overlook a key component.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Let us help you. Our Digital Marketing Consultants have worked with clients across various industries on marketing strategies and budget planning. We can start creating a marketing budget for you today that will position you for success in the New Year!