Where Will All Your Hard Work Be Going?
It’s that time of year again… Budget Time! We know, we know… we’re marketers too. Annual budget planning is not our favorite thing either. But, we are buckling down and taking a long, hard look at the numbers to make sure that we are prepared as we approach the coming year. Since we’re getting a head start on the budget train, we thought we’d share a few of our tips and tricks to help you with your budget journey. This is the final post in our series on annual budgeting for a marketing department. Read Parts One and Two to get up to speed.
There are 3 main resources that marketing leaders need to evaluate as they begin the 2015 “Adventure in Budgeting.” In this article, we will explore the 3rd area of focus, Production & Distribution, the “Where” your talent will be focusing their time and “Where” your content will be distributed, but also, and as importantly, where your money will be spent. You heard me right… it’s time to start putting numbers on paper.
To really get you started, we’ve created a mock budget for you to use as a template for your own 2015 budget. Click here to download the spreadsheet, and follow along as we walk you through each tab so you can wrap up your 2015 planning. Formulas have been calculated, but you’ll need to add in your own content, pricing, hours needed to create, distribution outlets, etc. to truly make it work for you. These are completely fictional numbers for you to replace with your organization’s actual information.
Dividing Your “Where”
Each Marketing department is different, but we all have the same basic outlets for our content distribution, and this is, in our opinion, is the most logical way to break our budget down.
Content is broken down into “Online” and “Printed” (or “Traditional”). All of the content your team is creating should be in one of those two tabs (refer to the 1st and 2nd blogs of the series to learn more about evaluating talent and content). Online content includes email campaigns, videos and social media posts; printed content is anything that will live outside of the computer. Some pieces will (and should) be used both online and as printed materials. Our rule of thumb is to put those pieces into the Printed column since there are production costs attached. If there are different formats needed for online vs. printed material, then the content should be included in both tabs.
Production here refers to any piece that will be physically printed: paper content such as catalogs and brochures; tradeshow materials like a booth or pop-up sign, and tchotchkes like pens, t-shirts, mugs, hats or any other awesome piece of marketing your team can dream up.
Advertising Costs are the actual publication costs you will be charged for printed or online magazine advertising, television spots, billboards, and online advertising like PPC, display, social media and retargeting ads. Feel free to break this into two tabs, Traditional Advertising and Online Advertising if you have two divisions who handle these or need to keep online and traditional costs separate.
Events are some marketers’ favorite part of the year. Tradeshows, conferences, market, training events, fancy dinners… the list goes on and on. It’s just a matter of deciding what’s right for your brand, where you can reach the largest audience and what you need to do to make it happen. Use this tab to lay out exactly which events you will be attending and/or hosting and all of the elements involved. (We’re already getting excited about attending the LIMRA 2015 conferences and the International Franchise Association Annual Convention!)
Technology is technically the “How” of your “Where”… How will you create, manage, distribute and measure all of the amazing campaigns you are developing? How will you track audience engagement? How will you keep all of your talent on the same path while juggling all of the different elements of your marketing department?
Many organizations face a big problem when it comes to technology. They use one service for email marketing; one for social media automation; another for their website CMS; a CRM platform they share with the sales team; possibly a survey or form creator… the list could be endless. But what if it doesn’t have to be? What if you could have not only your team, but your all of your sales reps (or agents, or franchises, or producers) all on the same page, all the time, on a single, simple to use platform?
“Impossible!” you say.
Not so fast… we happen to know that there is a solution to this problem!
If you want to learn more, check out our “Local Marketing Made Easy” video to see how we help companies better manage the complex world of local, multi-channel marketing. And let us know if you have any questions at all as you navigate through your 2015 budget. We’re happy to help!
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About The Author
Courtney Todd brings over ten years marketing and communications experience to her role at Distribion. She specializes in B2B marketing and has worked in a range of industries including technology, luxury furniture manufacturing and healthcare. She holds an MFA from Columbia University in New York and a BA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Connect with Courtney on LinkedIn and Twitter.