Forging Ahead in 2020.

We’re going strong here in the early stages of 2020, and that means one very important list is being implemented by volumes of people, ourselves included: our 2020 marketing plan! 

If you haven’t started on your 2020 marketing plan, then you’re already behind. But, never fear, your friendly neighborhood marketing agency is here to right that wrong.

front of office

Getting Started: Your Annual Marketing Plan

In a perfect world, this is a conversation you had with your team sometime last December (or even before that); when you’ve made your projections for how 2019 will shape up, and what to focus on for a successful 2020. And yes, you guessed it. This is the part where I preach the importance of setting goals.

So, for real, if you haven’t already done it, set your goals. It’s vital to shaping what your marketing plan will look like. Otherwise, how will you know if it worked? This is a trap that many businesses fall in when they employ marketing tactics. And it is also one reason we hear the phrase “we don’t believe in marketing.” 

Would you take medication for an ailment you haven’t been diagnosed with? Of course not. The same goes for marketing. You have to know what the goals are before you begin to create your strategy.

Now, steps two and three can be interchangeable, as they are contingent upon each other. 

Step two is to develop your marketing strategy (aligned with the goals of your efforts) and step three is to set your annual marketing budget. By creating the strategy first, you get to develop an “ideal scenario” marketing plan, where you get to do all the things you want.

Setting the budget afterwards can help you decide which marketing tactics are most important to reaching your goals. While some might see that as wasted time, I’d disagree. To me, it shows that you see multiple options for helping you achieve those goals, and a potential blueprint for the future. Knowing what you’d like to do might help dictate creating your marketing budget for campaigns to come.

But, it’s fine if you want to set your budget first. You do you. The important part is having that clearly defined so you can make informed decisions with the marketing dollars you do have.

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So, What Should Your Budget Be?

Setting an annual marketing budget is important because it will determine what aspects of your strategy you’ll be able to implement. And that number should be fluid year after year. According to Britana, our Business Development Liaison, the typical marketing budget for a small to medium-sized business is somewhere around 3-5% of your total revenue.

So, if your business is at one million dollars of revenue, that means in an ideal world, you’d want to invest $30K – $50K annually on marketing. I want you to read that sentence again. Especially the verb right before those big numbers. Invest. One reason businesses don’t do marketing is because they view it as an expense rather than an investment. This mindset is usually shared among the “marketing doesn’t work” crowd, but the fact of the matter is, it’s just not true. 

You invest in marketing to reach a target audience you have yet to tap, or increase sales to a particular region, or create brand awareness where you think it isn’t being leveraged. Whichever activities get you closer to achieving your initial marketing goals. (See, told you goals are important!)

Don’t let those numbers intimidate you. You can achieve success in marketing even with a thin budget. Decide what you are comfortable spending throughout the year, then divvy that up amongst the strategy you’ve created. The most important thing is to make informed decisions. Make sure the money you are spending is working toward the goals you’ve set for the campaign.

Meaning, if your goal is to grow your social platforms, don’t spend your marketing dollars on a radio spot. If you want to increase online sales, maybe a billboard isn’t the best investment. If you’re looking to engage with millennials, advertising on local TV might not be the best use of your dollars.

The long and short of it? Spend those dollars with purpose. Set your goals, know your audience, then advertise accordingly.

Is it a lot to take in? Absolutely! Is that a reason to throw your hands up and say “I’m just not going to do ANYTHING!”? Absolutely not! We know it’s a lot to unpack. But we’re here to help. If you’d like to schedule a consultation, we’d be happy to help you understand more about how to make marketing work for your business.

Article Written By:

Blake Johnson

Content Strategist/Probably Shopping for Vinyl