How Do I Utilize My Marketing Budget?

Many organizations find it difficult to set a marketing budget. It’s hard to know just how much you’ll need for a year’s worth of marketing efforts, especially if you’re new to the position or organization. But beyond the total amount, it’s harder still to breakdown your budget by tactics. Where do you start?


Like many ventures, the key to breaking down your marketing budget is planning…leaving money for planning, that is. According to a recent article from Marketo, nearly 50% of your marketing budget should be devoted to strategic planning and content creation.

This seems like a crazy leap, to spend as much creating plans as executing them. But well-planned tactics and content created with strategic objectives in mind are much more cost effective, meaning you’ll see long-term cost savings benefits than an advertising-first approach.

Advertising dollars can’t be ignored, however. Once you’ve created strategic plans and well-executed content, you still have to get it in front of your target audience. It’s tempting to think that the newest tactics will wow your audience, simply based on their novelty. Or that you ‘ve got to include those tried-and-true methods that have been part of your organization’s approach for years. Really, the only tactics you should use are those that fit your audience.

To really know, however, you’ve got to evaluate. Like planning, post-implementation evaluation is often forgotten in the marketing budget breakdown. Too often, evaluation is broken down to a quick analysis of cost-per-click, bounce rates and site engagements. The real value in evaluation comes when you gain insight into audience motivations and actions that demonstrate a real intent to purchase or engage. While this level of analysis can be expensive, it’s essential to demonstrating marketing value and to your future planning.

So, remember when you’re breaking down your marketing budget: while ads themselves are the most visible part of your efforts, the planning and evaluating are where you get the most bang for your buck.

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