Whether you’ve just started a business or have built a successful one over a few years, setting aside a healthy marketing budget seems to be something we tend to overlook. Either you’ve just started and don’t physically have the cash or you’d rather allocate any extra profits towards your salary at the end of a good month.

Of course, each type of business will have it’s own unique requirements when it comes to allocating a marketing budget, but there’s one similarity both share, and that is without new sales and customers it won’t take long before that business fails.

So Where Do You Allocate What Marketing Budget You Do Have?

Well, as biased as It may seem coming from me, I would recommend you allocate at least 80% of your marketing budget towards your digital marketing strategy and website. This could include a brand new web design and build, through to paid Facebook Ads or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing campaigns on Google. For many of us though there is no definitive answer on how much of this budget should be spent on each individual thing, and that comes down to the type of business you run and what goals you’re looking to achieve. If you want people to visit your website and buy your product then your approach is going to differ to a service based business who’s looking for customers to pick up the phone and call them, the most important thing is you figure this out beforehand.

Do Your Homework

We hear the great success stories from companies using things like Facebook Ads for their business and just assume it’s going to be the miracle cure for generating new sales. So, we dip our toe in the water, chuck £50 at a campaign, nothing happens and we become despondent and say it doesn’t work. The trouble with this shotgun approach is that many of us don’t stop to ask why it didn’t work, you can spend a lot of money in the wrong places these days and see little to no results, or you can do your homework, research your market, spend small amounts and see a return. It’s not that Facebook Ads don’t work, course they do, it’s just your ad didn’t work because either the creative wasn’t engaging enough, people didn’t get exactly what you were offering or your demographic was wrong and It’s these subtleties which you need to consider before spending money on any type of marketing for your business.

The same thing goes for your website, It may be you’re getting lots of traffic to your website but no one’s enquiring or calling, this again is where you need to ask yourself the question, is my website clear? is it obvious what you’re offering, and how easy is it for people to contact you, is there some form of call to action on each page? A good example of this is a website we did for Equilaw.

Tip. Time is our most valuable asset and people don’t want to be fishing around your website for a phone number or email address, make sure it’s clear and give them the best chance of getting in touch.

The Myth of Large Budgets

I believe whatever marketing budget you do have can make a huge difference to your business. Some people might have £500 others £5,000, the question is, how well you choose to spend it. I have come across so many businesses who are happy to go out and spend a chunk of money on a fancy sign or luxury sofa for their office, yet when it comes to something like their website and digital marketing strategy they are more than happy to cut corners, it’s ludicrous. There are plenty of options out there for everyone however large or small, it’s just a case of ensuring you’re getting the most for your money when spending out on digital marketing.

For example, COBA offers a bespoke starter website service for just £500, but we also have clients who have paid in excess of £20,000 for their web design and build, so why would anyone choose to pay £20,000 when they could get a website from us for £500? Well the simple answer, supply and demand, catering to the individual needs of each client and not having a one-size fit all approach. We realised that we were able to offer single page starter websites, of the same quality as our larger projects, but because they are quicker to design and build, then we can afford to keep the cost down. A landscape gardener who just needs a quality looking site with his latest work, services and contact information has different needs to that of an online estate agency trying to increase their property portfolio.

I personally have 2 ways of looking at this, ‘Cost over Value’ and ‘Value over Cost’ – Let me explain.

1. Cost over Value.

Like the example above, just because someone has only paid £500 for their website and not £20,000 doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting less for their money, if that is, it serves the purpose to what that individual client needs. It’s like buying designer clothes, I could go out and buy a designer jacket and spend £600 on it, or I could get a jacket from the supermarket for £60, arguably they serve the same purpose, they keep us warm, they’re a jacket. However, some would say the designer jacket has better quality material, it’s handmade etc whereas the other hasn’t, this is where the value comes in. We are all different, some people could never justify spending such a large amount of money on one thing that they feel they could get for a tenth of the price elsewhere. It’s about what value you feel you will get back buy spending that extra money and this is where you need to do your research and figure out exactly what will work for you and your business before deciding where to allocate that budget.

2. Value over Cost.

Too many this may seem exactly the same as Cost over Value, but It’s not. As I mentioned before, just because you are spending a lot of money on an area of your marketing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting that value back, and this is why it is so important to measure it, because if you don’t, before you know it you’ve spent your entire marketing budget and have seen nothing in return.

For example, say you have to choose between two cars to get you from point A-B, you have a choice between a Ford Fiesta and a Ferrari, if the main objective is to just get from point A-B then either of these would suffice, however, if your objective is to arrive in style, then for the majority at least, the Ferrari would be the car of choice. This is because you see how much more value that car will bring to you when driving it, it’s about the experience, how it feels, the attention it would draw, but then if you had to buy either of those cars purely to transport you from one location to the other, then why would you spend £200,000 when you could spend £20,000 and achieve the same goal, if you look at it this way you’re not getting any more value for the cost. The same goes for any type of marketing you do, if you can see additional value by spending more, then providing you’ve done your research you should always see a return.

Conclusion

The point I’m trying to make throughout this article is that we all need to audit where our marketing budget is being spent and be sure it’s getting us the best bang for our buck, even if it is just £50 on a Facebook Ad. What fascinates me is people who don’t want to spend any money marketing their business yet will sit and complain about how slow sales are, they fail to see the bigger picture, we don’t have a marketing budget just to blow what extra money is left over in the business at the end of the month, it’s to see a return on our investment, if I’m spending £500 p/month on Google advertising, I would expect to see £1,000 back.

I hope this article has given you a little to think about and what to consider when allocating the marketing budget for your business. If you would like help with your online presence, web design and build or social content then please Get in Touch to see how we can help.

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