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5 Cardinal Rules of Budgeting for Marketing

Digital Marketing, Education


Any business that is growing and wants to keep growing knows that the old saying is true: You have to spend money to make money. That’s why we treat marketing as a basic cost of business. But with so many channels to pick and choose from…how much money should you spend, and what should you be spending it on?

As with most things in marketing, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. What we do have are a few general rules of thumb that can help guide you as you build out your marketing budget:

Rule #1: Be generous, but not too generous.

Some companies consider 10% to be the magic number, that is, 10% of your revenue goes to marketing. But how true this is for you depends on a number of factors, such as how long you’ve been in business, what industry you’re in and how much you can really afford.

It’s certainly possible for companies with some market share and brand equity to maintain their position on 5%. Newer companies, on the other hand, should expect to spend double or more.

Ultimately, though, you should never spend yourself into a hole—no matter who’s recommending what number.

Rule #2: Know where your money goes.

Figuring out where your marketing dollars are best spent is the most important part of budgeting. Established brands have the advantage of having data from previous years to guide their budget allocation decisions. For newer companies, the basic marketing rites of passage are: branding, website, social media, advertising, content and events.

Rule #3: Allow some extra for the unexpected.

Smart marketers tie their dollars tightly to specific deliverables. Smarter marketers know to budget extra for related and surprise expenses. Remember: marketing isn’t a static process.

Rule #4:  Track your ROI.

Once you start actively spending, you need to track the performance of all your marketing efforts. At the very least, you should know how many quality leads are coming in and where they are coming from.

Rule #5: Don’t set anything in stone.

Adaptability is just as important as clearly defined goals and boundaries. As you track your marketing performance, be prepared to revisit and revise your initial plans as needed. The ability to adjust your marketing on the fly can be a huge competitive advantage.

Next Steps

Surefire Local can help you multiply your marketing efforts and build your brand while spending your money wisely. Our hardworking platform makes it easy for you to actually see ROI metrics, so you know what’s working and what’s not.

To learn more about the Surefire Cloud, schedule a quick 15-minute chat with one of our marketing experts at 888-804-8685 or marketing@surefirelocal.com.

Steve Eastlack

Steven is a Content Marketing Strategist for Surefire Local. With degrees in Marketing Management and Psychology from Virginia Tech, he works on both content marketing and social media for Surefire Local and it’s Advanced Social Media Clients. Through the use of developing a content strategy, writing monthly editorial calendars and content, and performance reports, Steven helps to build audience and brand awareness for Surefire and it’s clients across all digital platforms.

By Steve Eastlack | 11 months ago | Twitter LinkedIn 

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