The success of any marketing plan depends on a well-planned budget allocation. Several factors, like business needs, industry niche, and cash availability, influence an organization’s marketing budget.
Moreover, insufficient planning and inadequate resources can adversely impact the marketing budget plans. Hence, marketers must consider the following factors and best practices when preparing for a B2B marketing budget.
Creating a Marketing Budget
Establish the Marketing Goals
Determining the marketing goal is the first step to creating a budget. It involves setting a more comprehensive strategy and splitting it down into substeps. These steps must contain all the details to help businesses achieve their goals and determine the plans’ overall length and schedule. The general strategy and the steps must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Outline the Annual Plan
Outlining the annual plan involves determining the channels and strategies that businesses can use. It also includes SEO, PPC, web redesigns, social media, and new employment, which marketers must align with the marketing goals.
Also Read: B2B Marketing Automation
Determine the Budget
In this step, businesses must determine the spending for every element of the strategy, like PPC, marketing channels, and SEO. Marketers can assess and evaluate past expenses to obtain a comprehensive roadmap to allocate a budget and calculate upcoming costs.
They must calculate the anticipated costs for every initiative and account for extra expenses that could occur. It allows businesses to split the total budget into quarterly and monthly.
Allocating the marketing budget across multiple channels, tools, platforms, and human resources are one of the best practices. Determining how much and what to spend is vital for businesses to reach their marketing goals and generate revenue.
Track the Progress and Refine the Strategies
These steps become essential during the implementation of the annual marketing plans. Tracking the marketing activities to align the budget is crucial for businesses to hit the target. When companies find their prediction misaligning with the actual outcomes, they must refine or rework the plans to course-correct them.
A robust marketing budget tracker assists businesses in evaluating the marketing plan’s progression. At the same time, comparing the progress with the common goals helps them discover the plan’s efficiency.
To track the channel’s progress, marketers can use channel-specific information, the number of users, clicks on ads, website traffic, registrations for webinars, and downloads to check if the spends are giving them the desired returns.
Measure the ROI
The purpose of creating a well-defined budget is to improve revenue. In addition to tracking the channel-specific metrics and marketing budget, businesses must track and measure the ROI. It helps them determine whether the marketing plan is successfully progressing.
More importantly, if the budget spent on items in the marketing plan is getting progressive returns, businesses can plan to increase the funding for that item in the coming year. Marketers must apply the same strategy for items bringing lower returns.
Plan for More Marketing Automation
According to a recent report by Ascent2, “The State Of Marketing Automation 2022,” 43% of businesses believe that enhancing customer experience is the essential advantage gained from utilizing automation, while 64% report that marketing automation has helped them achieve their most important goals. Additionally, 69% of businesses consider their overall customer journey partially or primarily automated.
Marketing automation allows marketers to manage customer engagement as per the behavior and purchases. At the same time, marketing automation offers vital insights into successful and unsuccessful marketing activities. Hence, if marketers have not yet used a marketing automation platform, they must plan on setting up one.
Plan Marketing Training
With ever-increasing technological advancements, businesses need adequately trained resources. Hence, they must budget for an effective training plan.
Best Practices to Employ While Allocating Marketing Budget
Allocate More Budget when Businesses Have Larger Audience
Knowing the buyer’s journey is essential to creating a reasonable budget. The buyer’s journey will offer businesses vital insights into which channels or platforms work efficiently to reach the ideal customer profile (ICP) and the target audience’s preferences.
A few critical questions are: how do the customers come across the brand’s product or service? What are the lead generation, conversion costs, and revenue from each lead? Addressing these questions will allow businesses to allocate the budget and reach the customers better.
Determine Hidden Marketing Costs
If the businesses do not determine the hidden marketing costs, they might incur investments that may not be very useful to the campaign. While spending on promotional activities, market research, and product launches are critical in shaping campaigns, it is a good idea to account for additional marketing budgets.
Prioritize Bottom of the Funnel (BO-FU) Marketing
Prioritizing BoFu marketing can help businesses reduce the risk and increase the chances of better returns or ROI since it targets the conversion funnel’s bottom. Moreover, the audiences here are closer to becoming paying customers with higher intents for purchase.
Marketers must ensure that they allocate enough resources to BoFu marketing. It maximizes the potential ROI and minimizes the risk associated with spending too much on the top of the funnel.
Strategy Diversification with Multi-Channel Campaigns
Businesses understand the importance of allocating more funds to the channels and platforms where the audiences already exist or have a reasonable success rate. However, digital marketing’s ever-dynamic landscape has new channels and regularly experiences audience migrations. Diversifying the strategy with omnichannel campaigns will help businesses align with the changing digital marketing landscape.
Budget allocation requires adequate data and insights to understand which channels need to be allotted funds and how much. Businesses must rely on historical data and have a data-backed approach to obtain anticipated returns from the budget allocated for marketing. Robust attribution tools can help marketers simplify budgetary tasks and will also help them clarify the channels and touchpoints that are performing well and need more funds.