Using a marketing budget template can help you reach your marketing goals, even when the numbers on that budget suggest that you need to do more with less. The expectation in the manufacturing and professional services sectors (like many others) is to extend the reach of sales teams looking to fill their pipelines and shorten sales cycles.
But how do you do that with a limited marketing budget? What tactics are going to be most effective and tightly aligned with sales and, most importantly, business growth goals?
It’s easy to second guess tactical choices if it’s difficult to calculate ROI or if part of your marketing plan is experimental or unproven — and it’s understandable why executive stakeholders might be hesitant to commit appropriate funding for marketing strategies. By creating a marketing budget, you’ll be able to clearly identify your goals and how much it will cost to achieve them.
What to Include in a Marketing Budget
Instead of letting any challenges limit growth opportunities, use marketing budget templates and other budget planning tools to help you prioritize and identify the right investments to make in various areas such as:
Paid advertising campaigns
Trade shows and events
Branding and creative
Then, set SMART goals to track your progress, and have effective processes in place to execute a marketing plan that fills the sales funnel.
How to Make a Marketing Budget Plan: Start With the Right Template
This SaaS company created 12 ready-to-use marketing budget templates including a simple yearly budget, website budget, social media marketing budget, and product marketing budget. These detailed and colorful marketing budget breakdowns help to outline exactly where your money is being spent, providing examples of category items to consider.
These 8 marketing budget templates are available to download in either an Excel file or Google Sheets format. HubSpot provides detailed instructions on how to use the templates and each template has interactive charts that will populate from the numbers you enter. There are columns for both your projected costs and actual figures, so you can track your progress throughout the year.
Designed to manage your content marketing budget, this template helps you track your progress with standardized views such as actual vs. budget, spend on marketing summary, and category breakdown. It can be customized within Microsoft Excel to build a budget for all your content marketing programs. They also offer a separate marketing budget tool that expands to monitor all marketing plan expenses beyond content, allowing you to calculate month-to-month, year-to-date, and cumulative spend.
Here’s a marketing budget template that breaks down each marketing program channel (content, events, public relations, etc.) into activities, which allows you to track areas where you came in under budget (hopefully) and what tactics went over budget.
A simple Excel spreadsheet helps you outline your annual marketing budget, breaking it up into quarters and providing recommended itemized lists for your marketing expenses. The lists are broken down in sections, including brand development, public relations, advertising, website development, market research, sales, events, and travel. Because it’s laid out in an Excel spreadsheet, this marketing budget example makes it easy to determine budget calculations.
This sample marketing budget template lists categories and calculates your balance each month in addition to your overall annual budget. It’s a helpful marketing budget example that is color coded and uses placeholders with figures based on a hypothetical budget. Simply replace them with your own numbers, and you’ll be off and running.
Align Your Marketing Budget Plan With Business Objectives
For companies in the industrial sector and those offering professional services, marketing is often seen as a cost center. Instead, marketing should be seen as an investment, much like the R&D group. To achieve this, you need to ensure your marketing budget aligns with corporate objectives. Establishing your goals, marketing plan, and budget around your organization’s sales funnel and knowing your true operational costs are additional ways to ensure you’re in alignment with business growth objectives.
Once you’re in alignment and your budget is approved, be sure to implement a regular reporting cadence using your marketing budget tool of choice. If you’re using a marketing automation system like HubSpot as your website CMS and your CRM, you can easily track and report marketing ROI from a single system.
Also think about the format of your reports to leadership — you must speak the language of those authorizing the overall cost of your annual marketing plan, not only in the budgeting stage but throughout the year. They may not see the tie between expanding your knowledge base or increasing content development and the impact on the bottom of the funnel. But showing how those tactics positively impact sales revenue in a clear and concise manner will foster continued support of your inbound marketing initiatives.
Posted by Amanda Retzki Amanda Retzki is an Inbound Consultant at Weidert Group. Well-versed in digital marketing, Amanda assists in developing insightful, detailed and collaborative inbound marketing solutions for clients in a variety of industries.