At the beginning of 2023, there were 5.6 million small businesses in the UK.
More and more people are branching out and starting their own companies.
This means more competition for you. No matter what industry you’re in, you need to be prepared for 2024.
Do you have a marketing strategy that will put you on your consumers’ radar? Do you know how much marketing costs for a small business?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about creating a marketing budget and why it’s important.
Keep reading so you’re prepared for 2024.
Review Past Performance
Before you make any plans or start mapping out your budget for the new year, you need to reflect on the past year. Take some time to review your previous marketing endeavors.
Look at your past campaigns and identify your successes and where you fell short. This analysis will give you insight into which strategies work and which ones don’t.
You can use this information to make adjustments and create an even better strategy for next year.
Data is an invaluable resource. It can help you make an informed decision. Be sure to leverage what you learn from the analysis.
You can use these tools to understand your customers and their behavior, market trends, and the performance of marketing channels.
Using a data-driven approach will ensure your budget aligns with real-world insights. Thus giving you a competitive edge against others in the industry.
Depending on how long you’ve been in business, it may take you some time to gather all the data you need. You’ll then want to take your time sorting through it and analysing it.
Don’t rush this step. You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes.
The cornerstone of an effective marketing budget is your return on investment (ROI). You should compare the costs of your marketing strategies against the gains.
Which marketing tools and strategies yield the highest returns? What options cost more to implement than the return?
The answers to those questions will help you decide for 2024.
Set Clear Objectives
To build a successful marketing strategy, you need to have a clear goal and objective. This will help guide you as you build your marketing plan and budget.
Having clear objectives, whether it’s to increase brand awareness, boost sales, or generate more leads, will ensure every penny and your budget is invested with a purpose.
You must understand your audience. To do this, you’ll need to develop buyer personas and tailor your budget to address their specific preferences and pain points.
If you don’t know who your ideal client is, your goals and budget will be messy. This will lead to an ineffective marketing strategy. Knowing your audience will allow you to allocate recourse to areas that bring the most value.
Having a clear goal will give you and your team structure. It will guide your every decision, even your marketing choices.
Knowing what you’re working towards will keep you inspired and disciplined. You’ll be more likely to stick to your marketing budget if you know what you want to accomplish.
Throughout the year, things are going to change. It can be easy to get distracted and lose focus.
When this happens, it becomes easier to overspend and lose track. This will then lead to an unproductive marketing strategy which you don’t want.
Do Your Research
Doing research may not be the most glamorous task. It may be the last thing you want to do, but it is crucial for building a successful marketing budget and plan.
Market dynamics are constantly changing and evolving. Customer preferences, industry trends, and competition can change rapidly.
Doing your research helps you stay informed. You’ll be able to shift and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly. This will keep you from falling behind and losing your competitiveness.
Your consumer’s behavior and needs may also change throughout the year. By doing research, you will be able to identify their changing preferences and purchasing habits. As you gather this information, you will allocate budget resources to the most effective channels.
There may be new technological advances in 2024. If you don’t stay current with the new marketing tools and platforms, you could miss an opportunity.
Your marketing strategy will be most effective if you stay up-to-date. You should allocate some of your budget to these innovative technologies. This way, you don’t fall behind when new advances are made.
The more information you have, the easier it will be to adjust your budget and create the most effective marketing plans possible.
When new industry tools become available, there’s no guarantee they will work. This may make you weary. You don’t want to spend all of your marketing budget on a product or strategy that may not work.
That’s why having some money set aside for experimentation is key. This way, if they’re ineffective, you won’t lose all your marketing funds.
When you’re creating your 2024 budget, you need to look at the entire year. Based on past data that you’ve already assessed, when is your slow season? When does business pick up?
Demand ebbs and flows throughout the year. It’s unrealistic to think that every season will be busy.
You need to have a marketing plan and a budget for each season.
Take the time to adjust so you can capitalise on peak seasons. You can also use this to predict issues in the future and mitigate them.
During slower seasons, you may need to allocate more funds to your marketing ideas. If you don’t plan for this now, you may run out of money faster than you expected.
Determine Your Marketing Channels
You’ll need to determine your marketing channels. What works for your competition may not be the best option for you, so keep that in mind.
Does your target audience use social media? If so, which platform is their favorite?
Do they prefer email or print advertising? Do they attend a lot of in-person events?
Having this information will help you determine where to spend your money.
For example, if your audience is between the ages of 18 and 25, using Instagram and TikTok may be more effective than print advertising.
However, it’s important that you don’t spend all your marketing funds in one place. Diversifying your marketing channels will allow you to reach the most people possible.
Once you’ve decided on your chosen channels, you can allocate a portion of your budget to each one. Keep in mind the cost and its effectiveness.
You don’t want to spend all your money in one place just in case it isn’t effective.
When you’re creating your marketing plans, you’ll need to consider your internal needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
Is your marketing team prepared to plan with the allocated budget? Do they have the skills to create a profitable marketing campaign?
If not, you may need to invest some of your marketing budget in training. You may also need to hire more team members if you plan on expanding.
Budget for External Resources
After assessing your internal needs, you need to shift your focus to your external resources. A portion of your marketing budget will need to be set aside for resources that you don’t have in-house.
Do you have printing needs? Are you going to hire a photographer or specialist during the year?
You’ll need to be able to pay any freelancers or external agencies.
Plan for Contingencies
You’ve heard the saying “Hope for the best and plan for the worst”. This applies to your marketing budget and strategy.
You never want anything to go wrong, but the unexpected can happen at any time. You need to have funds prepared if the worst happens.
A sudden market shift could leave you struggling. However, if you have a contingency plan, you’ll be better prepared. Having a buffer will allow you to adapt without compromising.
Use a Calendar
This may seem like a waste of time or unimportant, but having a calendar dedicated to your marketing plans is beneficial. You can use it to outline milestones, launches, and other promotional activities.
Having a visual representation of your plan will help aid in timely execution. This will also ensure that your entire team is on the same page.
If anyone is unsure about the timeline or marketing plan, they can reference the calendar. It’s simply a tool to keep you and your team organised.
Evaluate and Adjust Regularly
Creating a plan at the beginning of the year is vital. However, you’ll need to evaluate your digital marketing ideas regularly.
You don’t want to implement an idea, and never look back at it, only to realise at the end of the year that it wasn’t successful.
Checking your marketing projects and budget performance will allow you to make changes.
If you’re not getting the results you want, you can adjust your budget accordingly.
You should also be tracking and measuring your ROI. Whether you have two marketing channels or 20, you’ll need to track them. You can then refine your future budget.
Why Organic Marketing Is Budget-Friendly
Organic marketing is considered budget-friendly because it relies on non-paid strategies, such as content creation, search engine optimisation, and media engagement.
These methods typically require time and effort, but not a large financial investment.
Organic marketing also focuses on building a solid foundation. This leads to long-term success. Once you’ve established a strong online presence, you can continue to benefit over time.
This is the opposite of paid advertising. Once you stop paying for the ads, they go away. While the media presence doesn’t vanish.
Benefits of Branded Merchandise
While an online presence is important, branded merchandise is impactful too. Companies are starting to underestimate the power of tangible items.
Everyday items such as mugs serve as a visual representation of your brand in your consumer’s home. They can help you reach a larger audience.
A lot of people have social media and spend time online, but some don’t. People aren’t constantly on their phones either. Whether people see your logo in their homes, workplaces, or schools, your brand becomes part of their everyday lives.
Branded merchandise can also be cost-effective, which may come as a surprise to you. Once created, the item will continue to promote your brand over time.
Mugs and other items can be very versatile as well. They can be used as giveaways for loyal customers. You can include them as a gift when a client makes a purchase.
Useful items with your brand on them can be used long-term and in many marketing strategies.
Budgeting Branded Merchandise
When you’re budgeting for branded merchandise, you’ll have to consider several factors.
First, set the overall amount you want to spend on branded items. Then determine how much you need.
You don’t want to compromise on quality. Finding a balance between quantity and quality can be challenging, but it can be done.
You should explore bulk discounts. Typically, you can get an affordable price when you’re buying a lot at a time.
Your promotional items should add value to your consumer. You want them to use and like your merchandise. Otherwise, it’ll end up in the trash.
Mugs and pens are great options, as they’re practical. Mugs specifically have a large surface area, which makes it easier to have your logo printed on them.
Before you invest hundreds or thousands of pounds, be sure the majority of your customers like hot beverages.
Marketing Magic on a Budget
Going into 2024 without a marketing budget could be detrimental not only to your marketing strategy but to your company. You set yourself up for success when you make a plan.
It’s also important to remember that nothing is set in stone. The market may shift and your marketing budget may need to change with it.
Prince William Pottery was established in 1937 is a specialist manufacturer of branded mugs.
Don’t wait to get your branded merchandise for 2024. Send us a message here to see how we can bhelp you.