Smart budgeting for business marketing.

Your marketing dollars should deliver the most bang for the buck. So you must budget smartly.

First, determine the amount you plan to spend. While it varies by company and industry, typically a marketing budget amounts to 3-5% of total sales.

Write down and consider your marketing objectives. Your goal might be to increase sales, gain new clients or increase membership. How large an increase are you aiming to generate? Given the amount you plan to spend, are your goals realistic?

Identify strategies that support your objectives. Have your past initiatives provided good or bad results?

If you plan to advertise, what media would be most effective? What demographic are you trying to reach? Seek out members of that demographic and ask their opinion. What excites and influences them?

With cost-effectiveness in mind, consider every option. Perhaps you could implement an email marketing campaign. Or a lead generating direct mail campaign. Or perhaps you already have the resources to create a special event that will attract increased attention.

Create a monthly budget. Devise a timetable, and schedule your marketing activities well in advance. Create a production schedule for each campaign or activity.

Keep track of your results and your actual expenses.

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