Every small business owner knows the feeling of dread that comes with creating a marketing budget.
It’s like walking a tightrope between going big enough to make an impact and staying within your means. When it comes down to it, every dollar counts – but where do you begin?
For many businesses, understanding their digital marketing plan is daunting. The ever-changing landscape of digital trends can be overwhelming for any marketer, especially when there’s pressure from management or investors to succeed quickly and cost-effectively.
How can one plan strategically without breaking the bank?
This post explores how small businesses can create and manage a successful digital marketing budget in 2023, what to focus on and how to ensure they maximize their return on investment (ROI).
Why You Need A Marketing Budget Plan
Let’s get this out of the way first: why should you have a budget for digital marketing? After all, small businesses often have limited resources, and the bottom line is always a priority. Also, keeping up with operational expenses and other expenditures (such as payroll) can be challenging enough, so why add another expense?
The truth is digital marketing has become a key component of success in the modern business landscape. You can no longer solely rely on traditional marketing methods like print ads or radio spots.
For small businesses, a marketing budget plan tremendously helps them streamline financial management.
Adam Draper, Thrive’s Digital Marketing Manager for Strategy, laid down some of its most compelling benefits.
Allows for Better Planning and Forecasting
Small businesses don’t have the luxury of a large marketing team or the resources to conduct exhaustive market research and strategy. Draper pointed out that ensuring ROI is especially important for small businesses.
“It’s crucial that the money invested in marketing contributes effectively to the business and helps generate revenue,” said Draper.
With an established budget, you can focus your efforts and make strategic decisions that help you reach your goals.
Enables Efficient Management of Marketing Activities
Since everything is planned in advance, you can closely monitor and measure each activity.
Draper explained that your budget plan “helps determine the value of a conversion and the amount you’re willing to spend to get one.” Understanding these values helps you identify “how much you need to spend,” and which campaigns are working, needs adjustment or are scrapped.
Creates a Sense of Control and Responsibility
A budget plan creates accountability among all stakeholders, from the marketing team to management and investors.
You can do this by identifying “what needs to be tracked, enabling the creation of targeted and measurable marketing campaigns,” Draper said.
All this data gives you more control over your marketing efforts and paves for better-informed decisions when adjusting your budget.
Encourages Data-Driven Decision-Making
A marketing budget for small business lets you make decisions based on data rather than a gut feeling.
Are you allocating the budget correctly? Are you hitting your targets? Where can you find more growth opportunities? A data-driven approach to budgeting helps you answer these questions.
Supports Scalability and Growth
Every small business has to start somewhere, and a marketing budget plan can help you lay the foundation for future growth. An established budget helps you make educated investments in the future.
“A budget plan allows for dynamic marketing efforts that can adapt to your success, seasonal changes and competitor activities,” said Draper.
Essentially, your plan makes your finances flexible enough to remain effective and work with the ever-changing landscape.