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Is there a “right” amount to budget?

How much should you budget for marketing?

This is one of the most loaded questions in the executive suite. 

Should it be?


The reason it is a contentious topic is because too many marketers have fallen into the trap of marketing being the communications department. 

The linked article above talks about a few important topics:

  • “Average” as a measure for what you should be budgeting to marketing. 
  • Strategic marketers getting more budget than non-strategic marketers. 

Is there a correct way to budget?

  • I’ve fallen in with the thinking of Mark Ritson, who teaches the idea of “zero based budgeting” in the Mini MBA in marketing. 

Mark’s point of view on the topic isn’t that you zero out your budget each year and figure out what you need to achieve your goals. 

In too many places, the budget is set in an arbitrary manner based on what was invested in previous years. 

Or, as the article points out, based on benchmarks, averages, or research that might be inaccurate or not applicable to your situation. 

How do I suggest you approach getting to the “right” budget number?

The Old Fashioned Way of doing proper marketing:

  • Research
  • STP
  • Strategy 
  • Goals and Objectives

From here, you can figure out how much money it will take to get you to the goals you are aiming for. 

Anything else, guessing. 

You might hit, but let’s be real…it is wild luck. 

Let me know what you think about budgeting in the WCG Strategy and Marketing Slack Channel.

Share this note with someone that is dreading figuring out the budgets for next year or has a bad budget and doesn’t know what to do.