Developing a strong marketing budget that is aligned with your business goals is one of the most critical initiatives for any marketer. You need to approach your marketing budget like an investor. Your role is to allocate your capital (mostly program budget and people resources) in an efficient manner that helps you achieve your business objectives.
Over the last 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to review well over 1,000 marketing budgets, starting with the budgets I built and managed directly, and through the complex set of budgets I reviewed as the CMO of a $2B software company.
Through lots of trial and error and input from some of the best marketers I know, I developed the following process for developing marketing budgets.
- Start with your marketing goals. Need some ideas? Check out this list of most common marketing goals.
- Review what worked and didn’t work from last year.
- Now throw away last year’s budget.
- Figure out how much you should spend.
- Plug in the non-negotiables and unforeseen items.
- Create broad campaigns or themes.
- Validate and balance.
- Presenting the final budget for approval.
If you'd like a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to build your perfect budget, download the FREE e-book I wrote on this subject.