Good morning and welcome to the Monday morning marketing podcast. I'm Esther
And my name's Melanie.
And today we're talking about marketing budgets.
We all need a marketing budget no matter how small or big you are. And as a business, you need to have some idea of how much you can spend throughout either a season or throughout the year.
Absolutely. And whether your tax year goes from January to December or April to April, you need to figure out how much you have available to go to events. Even if the events are free, you still need to get there. So you need to factor in your petrol, diesel car, parking costs, even maybe food when you're over there at the event. Lots and lots of things that maybe are hidden costs when it comes to marketing and in this case, going to events.
Even tolls, they can get quite pricey, certainly if you're going through several of them. And that's just something else you need to take into account when you're doing a journey.
Yeah, absolutely, and I mean, here in Ireland, there's one that you don't have to pay for at the time, and I always forget to pay it before the next day. So that can also creep up on you and an additional fine for not having paid it. But hopefully, you're not like me. And hopefully, you remember to pay your M50 toll here if you're here in Ireland, but also whatever you're going to events and you're using your own transport, you're using your own car or the company car, you have to consider in the cost of the maintenance as well. So any mechanical issues that may arise with your car that you will be using it to take to marketing yourself at events that has to be included in your marketing budget as well.
Marketing budgets don't just cover and encompass events, though, they cover print media and they also cover even as far as sponsorship, but how to work out how much to spend? That's what we've been asked previously and very much depends on how much you guys be putting yourself out there when you first start. Like most businesses, you don't either have much of a budget or completely nonexistent. And you have to work within your means that over time the hope is, is that you'll develop a certain percentage of your income will be set aside to be a marketing budget either the same year or even the following year.
Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of times when people think of marketing budget, they think of ads, Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, LinkedIn ads, insert platform here, ads. But it's not just that. It does include that. It includes all the ads that you will be placing online, but also offline. So if you're doing any ads in print media, so newspaper or on the radio or billboard sides of the bus, if you're getting big enough to be able to put your name on on a bus, that's going to be going around Dublin or Belfast or New York or wherever you are in the world, then that has to be included in your marketing budget as well. I mean, the more you grow, the more you may end up spending on your marketing budget.
And the more you grow, the hope is that you can then look to actually sponsor events. Now, the important part about sponsoring events is that it's the similar or same audience that you're currently trying to target. Otherwise, it could mix your message quite a bit. You also need to get analytics and proof of how your sponsorship is going to be used. Over the years, I've made a few mistakes. I've sponsored the wrong type of event and it happens. You don't need to ask the right questions. But now I go up and directly ask them, straight for you, but they offer you analytics. Good feedback on what's happened previously. What they're hoping to accomplish projections is something else that they can give you as well. And if it's a respected member of like an influencer like I've used in the past, which would be tweeting Godus, it really gives you an idea of what they're capable of and what kind of reach they get. Over the years, I've gone from bronze cover to silver cover and it's give me back full returns. It's just something you need to look at.
Yeah, absolutely. And as Melanie says, don't be going into sponsoring an event that your ideal audience isn't going to be at. OK, so Melanie and I are both in marketing. We're both in online digital world. So there would be no point in us going to a makeup artists event, for example. I mean, they're not. You know, our target audience in the case, but I mean, we might need to use our makeup, their makeup, but they don't necessarily need to use us. So look for people who are in need of your services and your products and go to those events, sponsor those events, get and ask if you can get the list of attendees so that you know who's going to be there and do follow up after the marketing. That's a big part of your marketing budget and your marketing time, because time is something that a lot of us don't even consider when we're looking at our budgets. But time is money. So how long do you need to prepare? And your speech, how long will it take you to follow up after the event? How long will it take you to get through all the inquiries that you got at the event? Consider all that as well, because if it's going to take an extra 10 hours a week, will that be worth it? How many of those people will become clients? How many of those people will need your services in the long run? OK, so it's not just an instant return on investment, it's also in the long term. OK, so once you get your name out there, once you get your brand in front of people at these events, then follow up, follow up, follow up, and that's where the ads come in as well, that you can then retarget your ads based on who you were talking to at these events, also sticking with the online and the for the marketing budget. We also reckon that you should invest in platforms for scheduling your information out over several different social media networks. So we've talked about this before. Melanie and I are not affiliated with any platform, but we do have our favorites and we do use different ones. And one is not generally better than the other. But they do cost money. They do.
And you do need to set aside money for them every year. I personally prefer to pay for my platforms annually because it tends to save me money. But there are some platforms which I prefer to pay monthly because I can change the plan or the program on them from a smaller to a larger platform throughout the year, depending on my client base or events that are happening is very much a personal thing. So when you're having a look at this and make sure that you pick a time of the year when you're not paying out for everything else, that you've actually got a level of money that you can source and use. And if you can't "excuse me", then spread it out over a couple of months and then offer to pay annually so that it reaches the ideal time for you.
Yeah, that's one thing that I have noticed is at the start, I'm in the U.K., so our tax year goes from April to April and we pay our taxes at the end of January. So there were times that there were lots of payments going out around the 31st of January for platforms, which was not ideal. So we got those changed to later in the year. So that we have we have the the ability to pay those then later in the year and, what else, Melanie? What else do we need to include in our marketing budgets?
When you first start, you can't afford any of this? OK, a large part of your marketing budget when you first start is home printing paper and ink cartridges
And the printer
and the printer. That is probably the biggest expense when you first aside from perhaps a laptop or something. But most people already start with a laptop and you need a good printer, some good quality paper and good ink preferably. And once you've started with those and you've developed a great start with those even Vistaprint business cards, just to get you started, you can get two hundred and fifty that can't remember 10, 15.
I don't remember.
But it's a great start because you need to start somewhere. And I know we've been talking quite big, but eventually you're going to get there. Well, that's the hope.
Yeah, you will get there and that's the thing. Start small and then whenever you have the budget to move into more professional and better quality things, then go for those. Yes. Ink paper your printer at home. Don't forget your electricity bills. That will also be included. But whenever you're getting bigger, go for more print material, your fliers, your banners, your stance, your all your promotional information should be available to you. There are so many things that we could cover in the marketing budget. Just make sure that you have enough money in the kitty to do what you need to do right now to get your business in front of other people. That's it for today. Thank you for joining us. And we'll be back again next week with another episode of the Monday morning marketing podcast. Good bye
bye for now.