A proper background understanding of your business aims and objectives coupled with the requirements needed to achieve set goals is a primary underlying factor that must be considered especially when it comes to financials. Prioritizing your expenses is paramount to successful running of your business no matter how small or big the business is. Hence keeping a marketing budget checklist for all category of expenses comes in handy here. Today I will be talking about the importance of maintaining an up to date marketing budget checklist, what to watchout for, include in it and how to go about creating your list.
There is no one most important activity in a checklist, they all work together harmoniously to achieve a set goal. In creating your marketing checklist below is a list of vital ground work to follow
Marketing Budget Checklist Activities
1) First of all define your business goals
What do you intend to achieve at the end of your marketing campaign? You need to have set goals that will help you to identify a strategy and evaluate the proper way to measure results. Examples of business goals may include:
- Brand awareness
- Increase customer visits to your store
- Receive more phone calls
- Increase traffic to your website
- Provide information to consumers about your product or services
- Increase sale of a particular product
A well structured business goal should include but not limited to these four components
- An objective
- The motivation
- The effort
- The key performance indicator (KPIs)
In defining your business goals try to be as specific as possible and align them to the needs of your customers.
These may lead to a long list following a modularized breakdown of complex goals, don’t be discouraged by this
because in the long run you will be happy you did
2) Next is Focus; Define specific product, services or assets intrinsic to achieving your set goals
Identify and concentrate your efforts on specific products, service or assets that will yield desirable result in a short time. Focusing on your business broadly is not a good strategy but rather targeting specific products will enable you meet your customers at the exact point of their need. So go ahead make a list of everything you sell. Examples of specific products include:
- An electronic download
- A physical merchandise
- Your brand image
- A specific service
3) Next, Define your customers
After defining your goals and products it will be a waste of time to pursue the wrong audience. Always take into consideration that the best audience is the one that needs your category of products. So tailor your audience targeting endeavours to be specific to the product you want them to buy. A simple way of achieving this is by creating descriptive personas; conduct surveys and make educative assumptions. The following are activities that can help uncover the perfect audience for your product:
- Describe different customers interacting with your products
- Describe their career facts
- Describe their technological traits
- Write a short biography for every category of customers associated with your products
Drilling even further, go ahead to provide answers to the following questions
- What are they motivated by?
- Where do they spend most of their time?
- Why are they interested in your product?
- What will convince them to buy?
- With this information, you can now proceed to the next stage to build your marketing assets
4) Build your marketing assets
Your marketing assets can be likened to the many parts of a car engine working together in automation to achieve specific goals. Marketing assets are customized contents used to drive promotional activities to get the word out about your products and services across all digital platforms in a way that positions your business strategically in your niche market.
To create a recognizable, consistent face for your brand and build a solid foundation for your marketing plan you need to establish the physical/digital platforms on which you will build your campaign in a consistent and strategic way.
Your assest may include the creation of the following:
- Brand identity
- A branded website
- An informational blog
- Social media presence
- SEO and Analytics
5) Determine your budgeting technique
There are three major techniques used by most business. First is a common and easy approach and it involves using the previous year’s budget as a benchmark and simply add or cut various items and costs depending on business performance and feedback. The second method is to use a percentage of your business’ revenue as the base marketing budget. A common percentage in the B2B space is 4% of revenue, then adjust the numbers until it all adds up correctly. The third and preferably most effective budgeting technique is called the blank-pagebudgeting.
And it implies just what it sounds like – start from scratch. In this case you build from a blank page the exact budget you need to meet the goals as outlined in your marketing plans while following proper marketing communication tactics.
As you go along to create your marketing checklist following the steps mentioned above and using the results from previous stage as input for the next you will be able to succinctly identify what you need to add to your budget, how much is needed, when and where it should take effect.