How to Create a Marketing Budget [+ Free Templates]

Utilizing a marketing budget template can help keep you organized, track your marketing efforts, and manage your finances. Read on to understand how to use a template and download your own.
Feb 23, 2024 — 5 min read
How to Create a Marketing Budget [+ Free Templates]

What’s inside

  • Guidance on how to map out your target audience.
  • Questions and thought starters to help you build your marketing goals.
  • Templates to help you track your marketing spend across local efforts, digital advertising, social media, and more.
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This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

Marketing is an all-encompassing term for activities to promote and advertise your business. Whatever you’re selling, marketing is critical to building a successful brand with long-term staying power. But if you spend too much on marketing, it can dip into company profits. Reasonable marketing budgets help businesses find the right balance.

Here’s a closer look at what you should consider when you create a marketing budget to boost sales at your business without breaking the bank.

How to develop a marketing budget

No two businesses are exactly alike, so your marketing budget will be unique compared to others — even similar businesses in the same industry. Following these steps can help guide your marketing budget decisions.

Perform market research.

Start by defining your target customer. Consider demographics, competitors, and the wants and needs of your ideal customer.

By getting a solid understanding of your ideal customer, you can tailor your marketing to that demographic. If you see any other companies with marketing strategies you admire, consider ways you can leverage a similar plan without compromising your brand’s originality.

Once you have market research completed, you can begin to create curated marketing campaigns for your target customers.

Create buyer personas.

Many businesses create an avatar, an imaginary representation of their target customer. Is your ideal customer a 25-year-old woman, a 40-year-old man, a parent, a single adult, or anything else? Do they work or live in a specific area? You have plenty of questions to answer to create a detailed avatar. Remember that your target customer may be different from you, so think outside the box when you create buyer personas.

Of course, you’ll ideally attract many people across demographic categories. Strategically, it is better to focus on customizing your marketing efforts to the needs, pain points, and desires of a specific group. As the old adage goes, if you market to everyone, you market to no one. As your business and budget grow, you can explore new audiences.

Identify your marketing goals.

Once you know who you’re marketing to it’s easier to craft targeted messaging and set specific goals that your business can realistically achieve. A popular model for goal setting is the SMART goals method. SMART is an acronym for:

Getting tactical and specific about your goals can help you measure ROI and performance compared to your budget. As you reach your goals, you can create new and more ambitious goals. But you have to start somewhere, and the SMART framework can help you choose goals that make sense for your business.

With specific goals, you can figure out where your target client base spends time and focus on putting your message there.

Outline your marketing channels and tools.

In marketing there’s a concept called the four Ps: product, place, price, and promotion. The four Ps framework encourages you to think about getting your product in front of your target audience and promoting it through the most effective channels. Consider where your audience already spends time and try to put your campaigns in the right places.

Consider these popular promotion strategies when building your marketing plan:

Calculate your budget.

Now it’s time to calculate your marketing budget. Think of your marketing budget as a spending plan for everything related to advertising and other marketing.

Here are three common methods used to decide on a marketing budget:

Factors to keep in mind when deciding on a marketing budget:

Track spending and measure performance.

Now your marketing plan is set, and it’s time to execute. As you engage in various marketing activities, keep track of your spending on each and track the results.

As you track results you may notice some marketing spending leads to excellent results, while other investments don’t turn out well. The key to a successful marketing campaign is to be agile. If something’s not working, you can take it out of your marketing plan. If something produces outstanding results, double down and grow that part of your marketing budget.

With good analysis and an understanding of your return on investment (ROI), you can make better marketing decisions in the future.

Use our marketing budget template for your business.

You don’t have to go into the marketing budget process without any resources or tools. We’ve created a unique marketing budget template you can use to map out your marketing spending plan. Download our free marketing budget template to get started on the path to marketing success.


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