How to strategically manage your marketing spend with 8 integrated simple marketing budget templates

Setting strategic and channel direction, working toward commercial objectives and KPIs, and monitoring your success is great. But if you're not tracking your ROI per channel it's hard to understand how much money you've had to spend to see a return. That's why you need a practical, accessible marketing budget.

How much budget is allocated to marketing?

Did you know, as of Fall 2023, marketing accounts for 10.6% of overall budgets, and 9.2% of company revenues? In small businesses, with fewer than 50 employees, this rises to 18.1% of the budget, but 19.5% of the revenue. Whereas those with over 10,000 employees allocate just 8.1% to marketing, to achieve 4.8% of revenue. The latest CMO survey found that yearly growth in marketing spending is predicted to rise 7.2% in 2024. Within this growing budget, digital marketing spending…

Use our simple, 15 section download to quickly create a marketing plan for your business

Many marketing plan templates you will find online were created long ago for larger businesses and aren’t so relevant to small and startup business competing in today’s marketplace where effective digital marketing is essential. Long plans with sections labelled ‘mission and vision statement’ and ‘corporate strategies’ are irrelevant for smaller businesses. The template we recommend in this post  is far more practical since it relates to the real-world challenges and opportunities of a small business. In this post, we'll recommend what needs to go into a marketing plan and how to structure it. At the end of the article we link to a Word document you can download to write your own plan.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is an essential tool to compete and grow your business since it gives focus to your marketing activities…

How to select the best digital and traditional marketing channels from 30+ alternatives

Small businesses have particularly limited resources whether it is people or budget, so it's crucial to select the most cost-effective communications to invest in. That means, free and low-cost marketing channels. In this guide, we will help you identify the best channels to use using two simple frameworks, so that you're not starting with a blank piece of paper or screen and can work through the options. We'll review both online and offline techniques starting with 30+ channels to consider and then at the end, as a summary we'll help you zoom in on the top 5 to make it more manageable.

Using the Marketing Bullseye to select marketing channels

The Bullseye was recommended by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Maiers in their book Traction, a nice hook to show the challenges of gaining visibility online to drive customer acquisition. Justin…

Chart of the Day: New research reveals that the vast majority of small businesses have only a basic understanding of SEO

A recent survey by Higher Visibility asked over four hundred and twenty small business owners about how well their internal teams understand SEO, and the results paint a rather dire picture for the state of SEO in small enterprises. 180 business owners (over one-third) either didn't know or reported that their team had no understanding of SEO. While over half of respondents said their team only possessed a basic understanding of SEO. In today's competitive SEO landscape, a basic grasp really isn't going to get you very far. If you want to effectively harness the power of organic search then you need to be using the latest techniques and not making any SEO mistakes, which those without a deep knowledge of the subject are likely to make. …