Thomas Minieri, artist, writer, entrepreneur | Its CEO Miniree & Company | Founder of the Lemonade Maker® brand.

When determining your marketing budget, there are several key factors to consider. Marketing covers everything from branding and website development to communication and sales. This is a big headline, and you need to think carefully about each component to make sure your entire marketing system is firing on all cylinders.

Branding overview

Creating a brand is not just for big companies. It is the foundation of every business of any size and any industry. Your brand is your first impression; It consists of visuals that combine your products or services with the words used to communicate with those products and services. Everything from logo design to cell copy makes your brand unique. A successful brand expresses credibility, while a less funded brand creates doubt. One of my favorite sayings highlights the vibe of branding: How you do things is how you do everything. Does your brand image tell the prospect that you are professional, or does it send the message that you are low budget and unorganized? Branding is about perception.

Branding costs

Start with a professionally designed logo, a defined color palette, a selection of unique photos or carefully selected stock photos and a well-written sales copy. With a focus on return on investment (ROI) marketing, tracking the effectiveness of many branding efforts can be challenging or impossible. I consider branding an investment that makes every part of your marketing strategy more effective. A poor brand hits everything while a great brand helps everything. A business owner can spend $ 1,000 to $ 5,000 for initial startup branding and additional funding for ongoing updates and further development.

Advertising overview

Any effort that directly promotes your business to the potential can be considered advertising. Options may include running paid ads on social media or search engines, posting on social media, email marketing campaigns, live mail promotions, billboards, radio spots, outside salespeople or networking events. Your advertising budget should also include the cost of creating content that will be used in the actual ads, as well as the cost of running the ad campaigns.

Advertising costs

My rule of thumb when it comes to advertising spending is to keep two budgets in mind: one for sustaining current revenue and the other for strong growth. If you want to maintain the current amount of revenue, 5% to 10% of the sales allocated for advertising may be sufficient. If you want rapid growth, you need to increase that number, perhaps 20% or more, depending on the industry and the type of business you operate. A startup business should promise a certain number for their advertising expenses because their revenue may be too low to use the percentage of sales as a measure. For many small businesses, মাসে 1,000 per month is a reasonable minimum advertising cost.

Communication

I call communication “marketing insurance”. If you’re going to spend money on branding and advertising, make sure the leads are managed properly. The first step in achieving this is to streamline the ways in which prospects can connect with you. Having multiple methods (such as telephone, email, chat, texting and messaging) can be overwhelming. I like the good old days telephone. Although I prefer to chat for website communication, I try to get possibilities on the phone as soon as possible. Personal correspondence with potential is extremely important in many industries.

Communication costs

The cost for proper communication can vary across industries. Spend what you need to make sure you don’t lose the lead because of the unresponsiveness. Failure to manage your communication system properly can be fatal for a business because advertising is wasting money which is not turning into sales. Another aspect of communication and “marketing insurance” is customer service. The last thing you want is to ask for a refund for a new customer due to poor service.

Sale

Sales are under marketing umbrella because prospects have not yet been purchased. Chances are your trusted brand has been advertised in an ad, then they visit your website to learn more and now they’re ready to make a purchase!

Sales costs

Like communication, your sales costs will vary across industries. The goal here is to develop professional sales presentations or sales methods that elaborate on the benefits of your offers in a way that encourages the possibility of a purchase. Graphic design slideshows can work well and help your team stay focused during the presentation. Keep them fun and interesting. Smart investment to improve video and other media sales results. If you rely on a sales team they should be properly dressed, polite, knowledgeable and able to communicate clearly about your products or services. Make sure they have the tools they need to succeed.

Customer acquisition costs

I tend to summarize marketing costs at an initial data point: customer acquisition costs (CAC). This includes the total cost of getting a new customer and includes your branding efforts, advertising costs, designer and marketing team salaries and sales process costs. To find this number, add up all the costs above and divide by the number of customers you have acquired in that same time period. This makes it a good business practice to evaluate your CAC annually and work to reduce that number each year without compromising your brand. Avoid reducing your marketing budget, but work to refine your marketing effectiveness. It is never a smart decision to starve your business for the important elements of marketing.

Conclusion

A well thought out marketing plan can make or break a company. It can also distinguish a company that is stuck on a revenue plateau from one that is rising to new heights. I moved from my first company, a service-oriented studio business, to a thriving national franchise in just six years from a small grant-aided startup. My CAC was about $ 250 per customer in one and two years. Since our brand and marketing system was perfect, I was able to bring the number of subscribers down to $ 110. This has improved profitability and made my brand attractive to potential franchisees.

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