There are many different components that go into a marketing budget. Making matters even more complicated, the exact contents of this budget may vary from company to company. Larger businesses with more specialized departments may separate advertising and marketing; smaller ones will include many different costs under the umbrella term, perhaps even including public relations and other tangentially related divisions. The size of your company has to influence your decisions about budget, but the questions to ask won’t change whether you’re working alone or in a multinational corporation. You’ll still have the same basic considerations, and you’ll still be balancing similar concerns.Step 1: Outline Every ElementBefore you start allocating any funds, make a list of everything that will need to be funded through this distribution. Don’t hesitate to contact your superiors and ask for clarification if needed. You need to have a complete understanding of what demands will be placed on the funds before you ever start to allocate them. In addition, denote any particular earmarks that have been placed on portions of the funds. Earmarks can arise in many ways. If you’re working for a nonprofit, perhaps a donor gave a gift but specified that it be used to improve your informational literature. If that literature falls under the marketing budget, be sure you’ve noted that the designated amount of your funding is already forced to go in that direction.Earmarking can also restrict the amount that may be spent on a given item. This is uncommon in nonprofits, but very common in for-profit businesses. If your bosses have determined that there is a spending limit on something, note that on your list as well. Companies may choose to limit places where they feel they have overspent in the past, or they may limit based on justifiable data from past years. Regardless, if you feel that it may be an unwise limitation, mark it with an asterisk for later consideration. Do not argue about any earmarks until you have a completed budget to show.Step 2: Start With The BasicsTarget the easiest things and start setting dollar values. If you know that you’ll be presenting trade show displays at the same conventions you attended last year, you’ll have a solid estimate of how much you’re likely to spend, since you’ve got it on record from previous years. Similarly, if your staff is included in the budget and you have no plans for expansion or cuts, you can copy and paste last year’s payroll figures and deduct that from the budget.Step 3: Weigh The Value Of A New Trade Show Booth And Other New InitiativesAfter you have determined the basic requirements of your marketing budget, you can start making the tough decisions. These are difficult because none of them are set in stone. You can adapt all of them as many times as you like, which makes it difficult to know when you’ve achieved the perfect balance between spending on trade show displays and spending on web advertisements. To help determine this balance, look to figures from past years. How have your trade show displays performed in comparison with other types of marketing? Will you make any changes to your marketing plan that might affect your trade show booth this year? Although these considerations will always be projections and predictions, it is better than a mere guess. Continue with this process until you have a rough draft of the budget completed, including every detail right down to the last trade show booth. Step 4: Look At The Budget You’ve Created To Ensure It’s RightIf you have taken your time during the budgeting process, you’ve created a very meticulously designed plan for how you’ll spend your department’s money. You should check the list again to ensure that it matches what your company needs. If you tend to emphasize trade show displays, make sure that you’re spending more on them. If you emphasize modernization, make sure you’ve included enough to update your trade show booth. After that, implement your plan confidently and you’ll see budgeting success in the coming year. Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Harmen writes for Skyline, a provider of trade show displays in NJ and a leader in design and development of convention technology. When companies need a trade show booth in New Jersey, Skyline is the durable, affordable option.