Marketing In Tough Times – Build a Marketing Budget

Your Marketing Source by Ron Burgess 12/17/12

Marketing In Tough Times – Build a Marketing Budget

Part 2 of 8

Build a Marketing Budget - RedFusionLast time we discussed priorities and innovation. Growing your business must be a priority if you ever hope to create the time to do it. If you have resolved to do so, start by actually reading this column (our marketing blog) as the first thing you do each week. Together, we’ll do one task each week to change your opportunities for business.

But what is next?


1 in 10 businesses fail each year. And of our 500+ customers we have had over the last decade, those that are gone today, struggled with Cash Flow and Budgeting.  Without having a priority on money, nothing else can happen, especially not marketing.

Building a Marketing Budget

There are several different ways to approach a marketing budget. First let’s clear up what a marketing budget includes. Many of you think it is advertising. While retailers may have the largest part of a marketing budget allocated to advertising, most other businesses do not. Business to business companies typically spend more on outside salespeople, direct mail, websites, and not mass media advertising.

Your marketing budget should include everything that helps create and keep customers. This includes customer service, communication, all prospecting activities including salespeople, distribution, design, management of the marketing process and strategic planning. So the marketing number is not generally 3%, its more like 12% and up to 40% for some industries. But, because most small businesses put selling salaries in payroll and have line items for marketing, distribution, advertising etc., most don’t recognize that the entire marketing process is a major cost. Of course, the typical approach is to simply not budget at all. So the marketing is always an afterthought.

This week, plan at least a rough budget for next year. Cut some of those “just costs” that are not essential that we talked about last time, and give the money and time to marketing, as you have redefined it for your company.

If you personally do all the marketing, budget more time for marketing. To make sure it gets done, do this first every morning, and fit everything else in after that.  (We write 75% of our marketing content before we leave our homes for work, when we are fresh and it is quite.)

I’m no different than you are, I fight to get everything done.

Action Item:

  • Budget Your Time and Money for next year.


Optional Reading:


  • First Things First, Stephen Covey. Check out his urgent/important table.
  • Sign up to get our Marketing Newsletter


Marketing In Tough Times