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6 Blunders To Avoid When Setting Your 2018 Marketing Budget

How to use goals, not guesses, when figuring how much to spend next year.  

One of the common blunders to avoid when setting your marketing budget for 2018 is basing your spending on guesses instead of goals.

It’s still summer. So we hate to spoil your vitamin D bliss, but it’s time to begin planning your 2018 marketing budget.

If you’re not sure how to set a website or marketing budget, you’re not alone. Too many businesses allocate their money in arbitrary ways. Some base their number on last year’s amount, some simply pick a number out of thin air, while others don’t plan anything at all. None of theses methods are recipes for success.

In the past 22 years, we’ve witnessed every conceivable budgeting blunder. Avoid these six common budgeting mistakes and make 2018 a banner year for your business. 

1. Thinking of marketing as a line item expense, not a long-term investment

Many businesses consider their website and marketing as a discretionary spend—something to toss money at only after everything else is covered. Taking this approach to marketing misses the big picture and can stifle the growth of your business. Think of marketing as an ongoing investment and a revenue generator that ensures the continued success of your business.

2. Basing their budget on guesses, not goals

It’s not enough to simply invest in marketing. Your spend must be based on a specific and targeted strategy. It’s time to stop making guesses and start setting goals. Decide on your objectives first and then work with an experienced marketing agency to figure out how to reach them and how much it will actually cost to get you there.

3. Not planning early enough

Setting goals and paving the way to reach them takes time and effort. Begin your budget planning 4-6 months prior to the new year and you should have enough time align marketing spend with strategy, and ring in 2018 with confidence.

4. Spending too much in the wrong places

Average marketing budgets continue to rise. Your goal should be to outthink the competition, not outspend them. Do you really need that glossy direct mail piece or would low-cost email marketing be a better choice? Are your pay-per-click costs rising and not delivering results? Choosing tactics with big price tags can be tempting. But when your budget is limited, it’s wise to consider more cost-effective ways to achieve your objectives.

5. Failing to measure and adjust

Once you’ve created and implemented your 2018 marketing budget, don’t wait until Thanksgiving to see if it’s working. Understand what a good ROI looks like. Regularly measure each tactic in your integrated marketing strategy. Then adjust your spend or eliminate tactics that don’t deliver. And if analytics are not your forte, get help from an experienced agency that understands the data.

6. Trying to tackle it on your own

Most people wouldn’t try to fix their car’s transmission themselves, but plenty approach marketing as a DIY project. Like a trusted mechanic, a good marketing agency will diagnose the problem and provide the right solution to get you on your way. Rely on an expert to get your revenue engine running on all cylinders. 

Remember, your marketing dollars are more than just a line item on a spreadsheet. When spent strategically, digital marketing is a wise investment that will pay dividends through increased website traffic, conversion rates, and revenue. Avoid these common blunders and create a marketing budget that delivers more bang for your buck.  

Need help making your 2018 marketing math add up? Contact Sortis for expert marketing budget planning, integrated strategy, and implementation. Next year could be your most successful yet.

 

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