How to Allocate Your Marketing Budget

With so many potential ways to reach your customers, it can be hard (read: overwhelming and scary) for startups and SMEs to know where to spend their limited marketing resources. Paid social; SEO; Google Ads; organic social; influencers; PR – and that’s just the start. Sometimes it can feel daunting. Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to keep you focused, calm, and breathing easy. 

Here are some ways to optimise investments and maximise your ROI.

  • Align: Determine your company and marketing objectives to ensure your marketing channels and tactics align. How do you do this? First, take a look at what it is that your business does. Most people will just think “sales”, but that isn’t really a business objective. That is EVERY business’ objective of course, so try to get more specific, even using SMART goals. Are you wanting to increase revenue by X percent; do you want to decrease employee churn by Y percent; are you interested in driving product quality. Think bigger than simply selling more. Once you do that, it’s more likely that you WILL sell more.Once you’ve defined your business objectives, aligning your marketing objectives gets easier, as you should be mapping your marketing to your business. 
  • Focus investments and budget in a few targeted areas first, and then grow into others as traction is gained. This is particularly crucial when your budget is small. For example, if your business objective is to launch one new product this year, your focus should be on spending your money in that area. Then you can map your marketing to launching that product, and use an intent-based marketing tool, such as Google Ads.
  • Scale your budgets as your profit scales. In other words, ensure your marketing efforts keep pace with your business growth. Marketing is a key sales tactic, and helps your business drive growth, so scaling back just when you start growing is a false economy.
  • Categorise budget items by projected ROI. Huh? What do we mean by that? Well, spend the money where it gives you the best return on investment, and scale downwards according to items that provide the least return on investment. 
  • Listen to your customers! Adjust your efforts based on the feedback and insights of your customers. And don’t just listen to their direct chatter. Listen to what they say online; listen to your competitors’ customers; listen to industry chatter; take negative and positive feedback from multiple channels (owned or earned) and analyse that information.

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