Another common, and fatal, mistake in the marketing plan process is underestimating the budget. Or, as I refer to it, the “B” word.
You can get every other part of the process right, but if you underestimate the budget, it is highly unlikely your marketing plan will produce results.
What typically happens is you’re forced to make tough decisions down the road and eliminate projects from your marketing plan.
I can’t count how many times I’ve met with a client and they have no idea how much they can allocate to marketing…or how much they’ve already spent.
Which makes it impossible for me to put together a realistic marketing plan – because it will look COMPLETELY different if you have $5,000 to spend or $25,000 to spend.
Here are 5 tips to help you avoid this rookie mistake:
- If determining your marketing budget on an annual basis is overwhelming, do it in smaller increments, such as quarterly or monthly, depending on cash flow or timing of your activities. This is helpful if your business is seasonal.
- Other clients base the budget on projects, such as a new website, big events or new marketing campaign.
- You also need to take into account external resources needed to implement your marketing program – agency, new hire, graphic designer, website developer.
- Research the costs of planned marketing tactics and get written estimates – don’t go with your gut!
- Review your marketing plan and budget monthly to make sure you’re on track.