One of the best ways to make sure your marketing money is well spent…develop a marketing strategy by coming up with a solid marketing plan.  This will guide you to spend your money wisely.

You not only need to understand your target market, you also need to know how to reach that market.  And you also want to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Here are 5 steps that will allow you to develop your marketing budget (as part of your plan):

  1. You’ll want to have a sales funnel – where you can track results through the revenue cycle. This is where an easy-to-use, productive CRM comes into play.  Track your contacts from prospect to customer.
  2. You’ll want to know your operational costs – everything from internal staff to hiring an agency.
  3. You’ll want to set your budget based on your business goals – ask yourself certain questions like “what are you business objectives for the quarter?” Allocate a certain percentage of revenue to marketing.  Don’t budget simply on what’s left over after other expenses.
  4. You’ll want to consider marketing an investment – don’t perceive it as an expense. This way of thinking often makes businesses want to spend less the following year.  Marketing brings a quantifiable return on investment over time, so don’t view it as an expense.
  5. You’ll want to know current and future marketing trends – this helps the business keep up with the pace of industry changes.  Do your research. Focus on your audience.  Get your message to them!