How to Allocate Your Marketing Budget, For Super Dummies

​At GEM, we have many wonderful clients who ask for guidance on budget allocation, and we love to help them maximize ROI.

How to Allocate Your Marketing Budget, For Super Dummies

Posted Monday November 30th, 2015 by in Analysis + Strategy.

At GEM, we have many wonderful clients who ask for guidance on budget allocation, and we love to help them maximize ROI. However, there are many brands out there who must go it alone in the beginning as they get their businesses up and running. For them, I offer this how-to for Super Dummies ('for Dummies' was trademarked, so we're taking it one step further - no offense intended).

Step 1: Take stock of what you own.

What are your monetary assets? What are your trade assets? Will the local television station take your proprietary chocolate bars in trade for a half-hour infomercial? Probably not. Let's go back to the monetary assets, then.

Step 2: Examine your demographic and psychographic customer persona. Who are your best customers, and what are their most frequent habits? Spend some time dissecting your customers' behaviors to make sure your messaging will reach them where they are (on TV? Social media? Newspaper?).

Step 3: Start with digital. Why? It's measurable. If that weren't enough (which it should be), it's also hyper-targeted, real-time, and completely malleable depending on your daily strategic whims. At GEM, we usually launch campaigns from website to digital marketing to traditional marketing, in that order. Of course, this depends on the demo - for some clients, we've gone to direct mail or even television first. But, as a general rule, digital should be towards the top of the list.

Step 4: Spend wisely by seeking guidance from an agnostic source. Cable companies sell cable air time; radio networks sell radio air time; social media experts sell social media marketing. Of course they're going to sell you on the merits of their individual media types! Instead of being sucked into a marketing vacuum, step back and assess all media types equally, putting your demographic before vanity (I know you want to be a TV star, but trust me, this ain't the way!).

Step 5: Demand measurement. Recently, a marketing executive tried to explain to me that he had trouble proving the ROI of his marketing spend. Say, what? In the digital age, we have numbers pouring out of every platform, every minute of every day. We can provide clients with traditional media spot runs and value-added figures, Google Analytics, social media analytics, email analytics, digital advertising analytics, content marketing analytics, database searches and sign-ups, and the list goes on and on and on. Demand measurement.

Startups and small businesses are great fun in their growth stages, and marketing has taken an increasingly important role in the growth of organizations across every vertical. Hopefully these tips will help point your marketing efforts in the right direction. Also, if you're a small business that has successfully traded products or services for a half-hour infomercial, we want to know about it.


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