Let’s say your company has decided to invest in a website redesign to improve lead generation and you are responsible for managing the project.
One of the first questions you ask is, of course, “How much does it cost to redesign this website?”
The answer, of course, is “it depends”. Just switch to a new template and add some new CTAs, or are you migrating your entire website to a new platform?
If only there was one way to organize your answers to all of these questions – a place where you could enter the estimated cost of all of your line items and then compare your planned marketing budget to actual spend. Good news: Marketing budget templates can help.
Our pack of eight marketing budget templates includes a template to manage your website redesign, plus templates for Excel and Google Sheets to keep track of your content budget, paid advertising budget, event budget, and more.
Additionally, this guide explains how to manage your entire marketing budget from start to finish.
Advertising budget, advertising budget
A marketing budget lists all of the money a company plans to spend on marketing projects over the course of a quarter or year. Marketing budgets can include expenses such as paid advertising, sponsored web content, new marketing hires, a registered blog domain, and marketing automation software.
Small Business Marketing Budget
Marketing budgets are especially important for small businesses. Small business owners may not have the skills to create budgets. Additionally, it is important for these companies to keep costs as low and lean as possible as they scale.
Ironically, you need marketing to scale. Without them, it’s difficult to sell your products and services. In addition to the budgeting templates listed below, check out some of our free offers and courses to help cut your business’s marketing costs.
However, it can be difficult to set marketing budgets for businesses of any size. How Much Should a Company Spend on Marketing?
Well, digital media accounts for more than half of advertising spend in the US and worldwide. This includes initiatives targeting audiences on desktops, search engines, video streaming platforms, social media, and mobile devices.
Given the success marketers have seen in this, you might consider spending at least half of your marketing budget on some of these digital channels.
Let’s talk about other ways to allocate your marketing budget.
When creating a budget, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your marketing budget allocation:
- Software: When it comes to digital and even print media, you may need software to create your marketing campaigns or manage your day-to-day processes.
- Freelancer: If you have a temporary campaign or want to test a new marketing strategy, you may want to hire a short-term freelancer before hiring a full-time employee.
- New staff: When hiring full-time employees, you’ll want to budget for costs including computers, technology, benefits, and onboarding requirements.
- Advertising: Budget how much money you will be spending on paid opportunities like physical ads, native ads, sponsored content, search engine ads, and social media promotions.
- Content creation: If you are creating content like videos, photos, or even blog posts, you have to invest paid time to do it. Budget how much money will be spent creating this content so you can adjust it according to the ROI.
How to create a marketing budget
- Know your buyer’s journey.
- Align your budget with your marketing goals.
- Beware of hidden costs.
- Remember where your priorities are.
- Spend your budget smartly.
- Prepare to measure ROI.
Spreadsheet knowledge alone won’t help you understand how you’re going to be spending your marketing money this year. Creating a solid marketing budget starts with knowing what the purpose of that budget is and what marketing teams it represents.
1. Know your buyer’s journey.
Your buyer’s journey is the step your audience takes in moving from prospect to paying customer. Knowing your buyer’s journey can help you understand how your audience is engaging with your marketing – and where to set your goals and budget to better reach your customers.
Ask yourself the following questions as you define your buyer’s journey:
- How do your leads and customers typically discover your products?
- What do you need to know before making a purchase?
- How many site visits do you see per month?
- How many leads do you generate per month and how many of them become paying customers?
- What does it cost to generate new leads and then convert them into customers?
- What is the typical value / revenue of each lead?
This process should point out which marketing tactics work (and which don’t), where to change your marketing goals, and where to focus your marketing budget.
2. Align your budget with your marketing goals.
What you spend and where you spend it depends on what you want to achieve.
When you start creating your marketing budget, make sure that you are only spending money on what is necessary for your current marketing goals – goals that are set based on your audience and their journey from prospect to customer. These can be:
- Show advertisements to promote a new product They start this year.
- Sponsored social media posts Generate followers on your new Facebook page.
- Paid search engine ads To drive traffic (and purchases) to a specific product page.
- Contract blogger to get more organic search traffic to your company’s website.
Jessica Webb, former Demand Generation Marketer at HubSpot and current Senior Product Marketer at Atlassian, says the following about how your costs can change when you focus on lead generation versus lead conversion: “Most of the money, The amount you spend on paid efforts is usually billed based. For this reason, you often want to allocate more budget to campaigns with higher volume offers and audiences. “
“For example, a tweet or Facebook ad promoting a lead generation offer that leans more up the funnel is likely to get more clicks than something that falls more in the center or bottom of the funnel,” she explains .
Your paid advertising costs also change depending on how many target groups you want to reach.
“You can look at Twitter ads as an example,” says Webb. “You need to choose the option of targeting your campaigns based on the interests of the users or the keywords they are looking for. Interests are a much broader category, while smaller pockets of users will search for a particular keyword. Therefore, your interest-based audience will be much larger.” and require a larger budget. “
3. Watch out for hidden marketing costs.
One of the great things about a budget spreadsheet is that you can avoid those quarter-end or year-end freak outs when you find yourself “Whoa … what did I spend all of this? Money on?”
In many cases, unexpected costs can force marketers to spend cash they didn’t plan on spending. Product marketing provides a perfect example. According to Meghan Keaney Anderson, Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, it’s easy to forget that successfully marketing your products and services takes more than just advertising.
“When people allocate budget to product marketing, they tend to think in terms of product launches and promotions,” explains Anderson.
“That’s certainly an important part of it, but another focus to remember is providing resources to do research and news testing long before the product is ever launched. Talking to customers about the vulnerabilities that your product will ultimately address are critical to shaping messaging and getting off to a successful start. “
4. Remember where your priorities are.
The marketing is overflowing with add-ons and extras, upsells and “premium” versions. One of the best ways to gauge what is beautiful and what is absolutely necessary is to (you guessed it) organize all of your expenses.
By monitoring where your budget is being allocated and comparing the spend against the results you get, you can find out what the budget is getting and what should be marginalized much easier.
For example, let’s look at the world of public relations. There are tons of tools in PR that you can budget for. This allows you to spend too much where it is not important – and too little where it is important.
“There are many tools that PR practitioners can use not only to create and distribute great content, find and target key stakeholders, but ultimately measure reach and effectiveness,” said Nathaniel Eberle, former HubSpot PR & Brand Director and more recent Director of Global Brand Management at LogMeIn.
“The key is to make sure you are laser focusing on who you want to reach and influence, and then make sure your budget supports how they are most likely to receive (and share) your key messages.
“As the media and digital landscape moves forward rapidly, continually reassessing the tools, services, and programs you use is a great way to determine the real-time ROI of your total spend. Today’s measurement tool may be worthless to you tomorrow.”
5. Spend your budget wisely.
When you open these budget templates and review all of the expenses listed in them, don’t fret if you can’t tick every box. I’m not advocating an approach to marketing that keeps you spending more and more.
I advocate an “always spend wisely” approach. The costs listed are not mandatory – they are just intended to guide your thinking and make sure you don’t overlook any hidden costs.
6. Prepare to measure the ROI.
When you put a certain amount of money into a certain area, you want to determine if your budgeting has helped you plan future budgets or has hurt you. The best way to do this is by measuring ROI – or return on investment.
If the money you spend on an item is driving your business to return more in return, you may want to increase the budget for the next year. If your money hasn’t gone anywhere, the best thing to do is to check your budget.
8 Marketing Budget Templates You’ll Need To Manage Your Marketing Spend
With the 8 free budget planner templates to help you manage your marketing spend, you can manage all the moving parts of your budget on a monthly and quarterly basis.
Use the Excel version of the templates to keep all of your budgets in one place. When you download the zip file, you will find a separate file for each marketing team, as well as a master budget template that will give you an overview of your total costs.
Would you like to spread your marketing budget over a larger team? Try that Google Sheets version of our templates to share access with other Gmail users. For the Google Sheets templates, each team budget is on a separate tab in the same Google Sheet.
Whichever version you choose, every budget is optimized with the same line items, tips, and charts. Read on to learn how to use each budget template.
1. Master Marketing Budget Template
Download the Master Marketing Budget Template here.
While it’s helpful to have custom budget templates for specific marketing departments and activities, it’s also nice to be able to step back and see the bigger picture.
The Master Marketing Budget Template allows you to do just that: it lets you collect the totals of the other seven templates in the bundle and see all of your expenses in one place.
2. Product Marketing Budget Template
Download the product marketing budget template here.
This template takes you step-by-step through the budgeting process for a product launch. From identifying product / market customization, to running user testing, to promoting your finished product, our product marketing budget template will help you make sure you don’t miss any critical expenses.
3. Content budget template
Download the content budget template here.
The budget required to create and promote content can vary widely from organization to organization. For example, while some organizations do most of their content operations in-house, others rely more on freelancers and contractors. While some use a wide variety of software products, publishing tools, and services, others take a much simpler approach.
Our content budget template is designed to cover as many content-related fundamentals as possible. So if there are expenses listed that don’t apply to your organization, delete them. (That’s the beauty of Excel spreadsheets: you can customize them to suit your specific needs.)
4. Paid advertising budget template
Download the paid advertising budget template here.
Paid Advertising: Does It Really Qualify as an Inbound Marketing Tactic / Channel? This is a loaded question, my friends, and one that I cannot fully answer in this post.
What I can tell you for sure is that you can do paid advertising “inboundy” – i. H. By targeting specific buyer personalities and using paid advertising to complement your organic efforts to drive awareness and conversion opportunities.
Measuring the effectiveness of your paid advertising campaigns is also paramount for in-depth execution of things. Our paid advertising budget template allows you to keep track of your monthly (and quarterly) advertising spend and then compare the amounts against your lead generation metrics to determine your cost per lead.
5. Budget template for public relations
Download the PR budget template here.
Public relations costs are more than just paying for press releases. From reputation monitoring software to traveling (e.g. to events and trade shows) to applying for awards, there are many PR costs that are all too easy to overlook.
To make sure you’re accounting for all of your company’s PR-related expenses, check out our PR budget template.
6. Branding and creative budget template
Download the creative budget template here.
To produce high quality, innovative graphics, videos, and other content, today’s branding and creative teams need more than just Photoshop … much more. One of the biggest – and often the most overlooked – expenses is storage.
If your organization produces a lot of video, storage is especially important. Because, as it turns out, when budgeting for video storage, you shouldn’t think of a megabyte (MB) or even a gigabyte (GB) scale, but rather a terabyte (TB) scale. For your information: 1 terabyte = 1 trillion bytes. Use our free template to keep track of all of your storage costs (and other branding and creative costs).
7. Budget template for website redesign
Download the budget template for the website redesign here.
Budgeting for a website redesign can be very difficult. With so many moving parts, there’s a lot of room to underestimate or miscalculate costs. We created our website redesign budget template so you can keep all of your redesign expenses in one convenient place.
Not sure whether your current website is suitable for a redesign? Check out this HubSpot Research Report: Is Your Website Getting the Grade? Chances are it will hardly pass.
8. Event budget template
Download the event budget template here.
When planning an event, the costs involved can seem obvious at first. There is of course the location to consider. And the P.A. System and microphones. And then the costs associated with booking and involving moderators / cast members. That’s pretty much it, isn’t it?
For example, does the venue come with tables / chairs or do you have to rent them separately? Would you like your participants to wear name tags, and if so, do you want to pre-print the name tags or have the participants write their own names on blank tags?
If the latter is the case, have you considered the pens or markers you need to take this into account? As you can see, planning an event can take you through many rabbit holes.
Use our event budget template to stay organized.
Example of a marketing budget
Now that you’ve downloaded your chosen template, it’s time to consider which digital channels to budget for. Tip: There is no one right answer – it depends on the market research you do to find out where your specific audience is spending the most time.
For example, if your buyer prefers to learn and consume content in the form of videos, you might invest more money in YouTube advertising.
Example of an advertising budget
Here’s a small sample budget for a quarter of the spend of a hypothetical company that decided to invest heavily in video marketing. This template was created using the master budget template, the first template listed in the section above.
Based on the above numbers, the total cost of video advertising for the quarter exceeded budget by $ 20, while the total cost of full-time recruitment exceeded budget by $ 2,400. This means the company is above budget for the first three months of the year.
Why could this happen? Perhaps a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign on YouTube got more viewers clicks than expected, and some astute, video-savvy applicant negotiated a higher salary.
Based on the difference between this company’s planned and actual spending, the budget template resulted in the following graphic:
Go now and plan wisely – your marketing reps are counting on you.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated for completeness.