In life and in marketing, taking a shortcut rarely gets you where you really want to go. It’s that time of the year that many marketers are taking a hard look at their annual budget. Wouldn’t it be easy if there were some sort of definitive formula that could tell you exactly how to spend your money the best?
Sure. But there isn’t.
Building a budget is just as much of an art as it is a science. It’s a lot like marketing itself. Relying too heavily on data or too heavily on intuition can take you off the right path. But finding the right balance of the two will lead you to success.
The science of budgeting is pretty obvious. ROI, sales forecasts and what’s in the product pipeline are pretty standard in this arena. You may use a rule of thumb regarding a certain percentage of overall revenue based on historical data or industry benchmarks.
For instance, industry budgets for new brand or product launches for B2B companies range from 3-8% of forecasted revenue. However, it’s the art that so often goes overlooked. Especially for B2B brands.
There is an art to being aware of and responding to all variables that impact budgeting. How supportive is senior leadership of marketing? How much brand equity do you have in the marketplace? How strong is your brand recognition? What’s in the sales funnel currently?
And here’s one where the art of budgeting is invaluable: new product introductions. When launching a new product, there are certain marketing elements that are absolutely necessary. You may not see immediate sales upon investing in these “marketing essentials,” but you will need to have them in place by the time you go to market, even though your new product or brand has not produced a single dollar of revenue at that point.
And even though you haven’t seen any sales at that point, you sure won’t want to be without the branding, website, sales collateral, public relations and digital support that you would depend on to ensure a successful launch.
That’s where an experienced brand-driven marketing communications agency comes into play. We’ve worked with many B2B companies in support of new brand and product launches. It’s that perspective that helps us understand the art, so we serve as a partner to the scientifically oriented people who are seeking to determine their marketing budget. That’s really what defines a great partnership at its very essence.
We’re in the heart of budgeting season now for many of our clients, so as you map out your marketing calendar, get in touch with us. We’d love to lend our perspective (at no charge!) to help you create a budget that is realistic and can achieve your brand’s sales and marketing goals. Email Tim Leon at [email protected] and let’s chat.