Merrick, NY—The fourth quarter is flying by, and even though you're busy with holiday sales, it’s also time to ensure your plans are in place for a prosperous 2019! In upcoming editions of The Centurion Newsletter, we’ll be offering you smart advice from our world class panel of experts. First up, Ellen Fruchtman of Fruchtman Marketing offers you a primer on your marketing budget. You’ll see more words of wisdom in the weeks to come. Read on!
Prepare a Marketing Budget for 2019
If you want to be successful in your marketing endeavors, it always starts with building a marketing plan. Most of our full-service retail clients are meeting with us over the next few weeks to review theirs. But, if you're building one yourself (and this is a busy time), make sure you set aside several hours on your calendar the first few weeks in January. How do you build a plan? Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Start with a budget number. This is generally 5%-8% of gross sales. To be conservative, base it on 2018 sales. If you're lucky enough to get this accomplished in December, you can project December number, or base it on last year’s monthly number. Budgets can always be adjusted. We generally recommend a marketing budget of 6% of sales.
2. Write down your top 5 most important objectives for 2019 in order of importance. Examples:
3. Based on the total number and your objectives, start allocating the dollars you'll need to successfully meet those objectives. If your budget is not that robust, you need to narrow the objectives. And, perhaps you only focus in on one or two. If you spread your money too thin, nothing will be successful.
4. Now begin to map out the specifics. This is the hard part. What are the ways you're going to meet these objectives? For example, if you want to increase bridal, what advertising endeavors do you need to deploy to get you where you want to go? This is where it gets a little dicey. Digital initiatives will be important. If you want to increase bridal, the digital percentage of your overall budget number, might be hovering between 25%-40%. Again, all of this depends on how many objectives you can afford to market well. Begin layering in a month-by-month spend of those initiatives targeting that specific customer. Facebook Advertising, Digital Display, YouTube, etc. Then, take the next objective and layer in those endeavors best suited to accomplish that goal. For example, if you want to increase sales with existing customers, you might want to plan quarterly events. And, budget for all of those items such as direct mail, email marketing, event expenses etc.
Creating a comprehensive marketing budget isn't easy. But, it is the necessary first step on the road to marketing success. A successful marketing plan should look at every aspect of your business needs. It needs to be holistic. And, more importantly, there needs to be a strategy.