We’ve been helping clients create budgets for a while now, and we know that determining how much you can (and should) spend on your marketing budget can be overwhelming.

Here are some of our top tips for a pain-free budgeting process that will help you reach your goals without breaking the bank.

Tip 1 – Be Strategic

Should you start a blog? Is it time to invest in PPC ads? Does your website need a facelift?

Before deciding on tactics, you need a strategic marketing plan. To create an effective plan, make sure that you understand sales team goals and the company’s overall vision for growth. Then, identify the areas in your marketing program that align with these goals. Finally, put your plan together and create a budget around it. We promise that if you do it in this order, you have a much greater chance of getting it right.

Need more information about the key components to planning and implementing a marketing budget? Click here to learn more.

Tip 2 – Keep It Simple

There are a lot of platforms out there that handle everything from social media to blogging to email marketing and the sheer volume of options can be intimidating. Keep things simple by choosing an all-in-one platform.

Enter HubSpot. If you’re serious about incorporating the tenets of digital marketing, there’s no better platform to keep your team organized and on target. Having one comprehensive platform like HubSpot rather than several tools that need to be integrated and managed will simplify the budgeting process.

Need more information about simplifying your digital marketing budget? Click here.

Tip 3 – Corral Your Data

HubSpot reporting and Google Analytics collect a ton of useful data about how people are engaging with your digital marketing.

However, it’s important to understand the data that will help you move the needle.

Get started by classifying that data. There are three kinds of data that will serve your marketing efforts:

  • Awareness Data— Your traffic and sources
  • Conversion Data—Actions that contribute to a prospect becoming a customer
  • Consideration Data — Marketing qualified lead (MQL) and sales qualified lead (SQL) information

Want more detail? Click here .

Tip 4 – Trim the Fat

While it’s important to strive for a comprehensive marketing plan, don’t get caught in the trap of adding things to your budget because they’re “sexy” or because you want to dazzle your leadership team. Use data to identify what you really need and trim out the line items that you cannot directly tie to your strategic marketing plan.

Take a look at our article here and see just how easy it is to create a reasonable budget that your accounting department will embrace.

Tip 5 – Know The Must-Haves

Before you go into your budgeting meetings, do your homework and understand your non-negotiable line items. If you’ve done a good job of creating a strategic plan (Tip 1) that uses data to identify activities that will help you achieve your sales and marketing goals (Tip 3) , these must-haves will be pretty obvious.

What should you include among your budget line items? Use this list to get you started.

Tip 6 – Get Expert Help

We get it. Budgeting is a daunting task. But there is help available.

We’ve created this popular checklist that will help you prioritize your goals, evaluate your marketing activities, and identify gaps in your current strategy.

Click here to download The Marketer’s Budget Prep Checklist

If you still have questions about prepping your budget for 2019, we’re always happy to set up a time to chat. Contact us today, to speak with one of our helpful marketing experts.