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  • Writer's picturePete Steege

How to Spend your Marketing Budget

One of the best ways to avoid random acts of marketing in your business is to put strategy before tactics and have a plan in place for how you're going to use marketing - and how you're NOT going to use marketing - in your business before you decide what you're going to do.

I like to use budget as a way to drive that behavior in the business, and there are two steps to creating an actionable marketing budget.

The first is to figure out how much you're going to spend overall on marketing on your business. The second is to decide where to spend it.

Step 1: Decide how much you'll spend on Marketing

For the first step, I've created a separate video on how to do that. The result is a number which is a percent of your revenue, unique for your business, your team, your market and other other factors.

Step 2: Decide where to spend it

What I want to talk about in this video is that second step: how to decide where to spend that money you're going to invest in marketing. first, let's talk about what not to do.

What to avoid

Don't start with last year's budget and incrementally increase it or decrease each of the buckets. Your world has changed a lot since last year, and you need a fresh perspective on what needs to be done first - so you don't miss an opportunity that marketing can help with.

The second thing to avoid is a "silver bullet" approach, focusing on a single tactic or campaign, a big event or anything else that you're kind of obsessed with.

These projects are things that you're emotionally attached to. Either you've done them before or they are something you are just sure you need.

You need to look at your overall needs first.

Focus on your customers' journey

The best way to start is to first look at your customer journey.

My customer journey model is seven stages. Yours might be different, but that not important. It's your customers' experience from the very first time they meet you or hear about you, all the way through to somebody that's been buying from you for a long time and loves you.

Delivering the best customer journey is how you succeed with marketing. This is marketing's role in your business.

So before you start choosing tactics, you want to figure out where marketing can help - and where it can't help - across these stages.

Understand what the ideal journey looks like and what you want to happen. Then figure out what's happening today.

Spend your money on the gaps

You're going to see some gaps, and some will be bigger than others.

This will allow you to set priorities. Divide your budget up among the stages of your customer journey based on the need and opportunity.

You might be spending almost all of it on awareness, or you might be spending almost all of it on retaining your customers with satisfaction or repeat purchase. Or it could be spread pretty evenly across a lot of stages. It really depends on what you need marketing to do now to help your business.

Once you've done that work, you will have a budget that's defined by the priority of your business. Now is the time to choose the tactics within the budget that you have available for each of the stages where you want marketing to help you.

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