How much should I budget and what should I spend it on?

As we all know, budgets differ greatly. They differ in size, flexibility, time-frame and what they cover. So how do you get more bang for your buck in today’s minefield of a marketing arena? Well, here’s what we think!

Research is king

Before you spend a penny on a new website or a new all singing, all dancing social media manager, do your homework. What do I want to achieve? How do your clients communicate with you? What do you want potential customers to do when they find you? Should you outsource to an agency? If so, who? What on earth is PPC and SEO; what’s the difference? What is the best journal to advertise in? All valid questions and the list goes on! Research is the first step in your quest for marketing success and it is vital before commencing. Now with all of your basic information in place, you can begin to finalise strategy and build budgets. Now I’m not saying for one second this is where research should end, it’s a continuous process. If you decide to outsource to an agency, make sure they know what they’re on about! As part of our service at ib3, we are always talking to new suppliers, media outlets and evaluating online and printed publications. Our experience takes the hassle, time and cost out of researching. When it comes to media planning, we are experts. We are here to help and advise you on where to spend your budget and all other good agencies should do the same. Be smart and remember, knowledge is power!

£20,000 of tweets please and forget the rest

Following on from your research, it should give you a good idea of what you want to spend your money on. So hopefully, you won’t have put all of your eggs in one basket. As a multi-channel agency, we understand the importance of balance. You’re not going to reach all of your target audience on twitter or in just one journal. Make sure that you have sufficient budget for the most effective communications channels to ensure your voice is heard. Print isn’t dead and social media isn’t the saviour. Each channel has it’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s about finely tuning a plan that works for you.

I am not spending a penny more

No business has an endless source of budget, so flexibility (within reason) is a vital. With this in mind you must be able to react quickly to trends within your marketing campaign. Responding to market signals is key to successful marketing campaigns. If you see exponential growth following a printed journal add, explore it more. Maybe social media isn’t generating the business that everyone said it would. Don’t be afraid to tinker and adjust throughout the campaign. This is where all good agencies should be able to help. Yes, not all platforms and channels have deep routed ROI analysis available, but a lot do. Agencies should be able to review, advise and help adjust budgets to meet your goals throughout the campaign. Take PPC for example, a constant review of analytics and search terms can transform poorly performing campaigns, to triumphant victories!

I have £5.90, now take me to the top of google

Realism. Yes, we all would like to spend nothing and get everything, but is it possible? Not really! This is where carefully formed objectives can be worth their weight in gold. It all comes back to your first research questions, what do you want to achieve? We’ve all heard of SMART objectives, but just check, are the objectives of your campaign specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific? If not, take time to review.

To summarise, do your research and ensure your agency are doing theirs; look at your options; be flexible and most of all, be realistic. Here at ib3, we have years of experience of managing client budgets and ensuring all communication channels are utilised. We want every penny you spend to contribute to the success of your campaign.

Thanks for reading,

Adam

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