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How to Manage a Marketing Budget in 5 Easy Steps


Despite popular belief, marketing budgets aren’t made with magic money. The funds don’t just pop up from nowhere or appear right out of the blue!

Instead, a marketing budget should be viewed as the amount of money a business plans to distribute to advertising strategies over the course of a quarter or year. Paid advertising, sponsored content, website development and sponsorships are all examples of marketing budget components.

If you don’t stay on top of marketing budgets, you risk wasting money or losing hard-earned influence among potential customers. If you’re looking to take a proactive approach to buying media, try these five easy steps the next time you manage a marketing budget.

Set Clear Goals

Setting clear goals for your marketing budget will give you a clear direction. Are you trying to expand your reach to include a more diverse set of consumers? Or, in contrast, do you already have a dedicated following and ready to pursue conversions?

Doing a deep dive into the status of your business will give you a good idea of what goals to focus on in the upcoming year. Start off strong by creating a distinct vision that will guide you from one quarter or campaign to the next.

Stay Organized

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘for every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned’? Well, it stands to be true with most things, especially marketing budgets.

If you’re in charge of finances, you know how important it is to track money spent versus money available. By staying organized, you can easily review how your marketing budget is being used and where you should commit more or less time to invest in.

Many people choose to use a spreadsheet to organize their marketing budgets. If you decide to go this route, it’s vital to input each and every invoice, bill or charge so you can easily monitor budget allocation over time. You can find plenty of free budget planner templates to organize your marketing dollars — just be sure to find a process that works for you before any spending spirals out of control!

Think Ahead

Planning for the future is always a good course of action when managing a marketing budget.

First, take a look at your total budget for an entire calendar year. Are there certain campaigns you know you will run at a certain time of the year based on your business’ product offering? Remove those costs from the budget first so you can allocate funds appropriately moving forward.

Then, consider your marketing spend by region. Is there an area you’re looking to expand your business’ reach? Devote another portion of your marketing budget to these initiatives.

Finally, once you’ve laid out your plan for known projects, you can then start dedicating money to quarterly expenditures. Building awareness among local communities is a great way to introduce the public to your brand prior to pushing customers down the conversion funnel. Not only that but thinking ahead could curb expenses and keep you in good graces with media representatives in case special opportunities arise with their companies.

Consider Hidden Costs

Sometimes, pesky little costs can sneak up on you. When you’re planning your marketing budget for either a campaign or quarter, consider hidden costs like markups, finance charges or creative fees.

It’s a good rule of thumb to plan out your marketing budget from the start of a campaign — all the way from production and continuing through placement. Remember, a missed deadline can be a costly mistake!

Hire an Agency

Hiring an agency is the perfect solution for managing your marketing budget. An agency is your one stop shop for all things marketing. From directing creative to driving strategy, most agencies come jam packed with all sorts of options for partnership.

About The Author

Kathryn came to ABC with a strong background in digital marketing. As Media Manager, she’s in charge of all media planning and placement while also handling campaign analytics for ABC clients.

The SUNY Cortland graduate enjoys the fast-paced environment and collaborative atmosphere of marketing agency life. She’s always looking for the edge when it comes to our creative, whether that’s deploying tried-and-true media or experimenting with something new.

Kathryn loves outdoor sports and is passionate about animal rescue, fostering dogs for a local organization. At work, she embraces the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with ABC clients while guiding them to success.