2012 is quickly approaching. Over the last few months I have spoken to many different small businesses about their marketing and advertising plans for the new year. I have noticed that many of these companies have plans for their marketing direction for 2012, but have not yet considered their budgets.
From the small business perspective, it is difficult to know what you "should" be spending. If you spend too much, you may end up wasting your investment in certain areas. If you spend too litte, you're probably missing out on the buying power of some potential customers that just didn't know you were there.
From the perspective of a marketing agency, it is next to impossible to develop an actionable marketing plan without a sense of what a client is willing and able to invest. Many times, without this knowledge, what results is an advertising and marketing plan that exceeds the client's spending range. This course of action is a disservice to the client and agency alike.
In my quest to find a valid solution to help our clients establish reasonable budgets, I came across the "Ad Budget Calculator".
The blog article I found that brought me to this little gem was on randingBlog.com. The article gets more into the how and why of this calculator. Here is the link to the post: http://www.brandingblog.com/2011/10/soundbites-how-to-calculate-an-ad-budget
It is my hope that small businesses can use this calculator to establish a baseline for what they are willing to invest in their marketing/advertising initiatives. By having this number prepared before meeting with a marketing, or advertising agency, you can maximize the potential for a successful relationship. If the agency has a realistic view of how much you want to invest, they can develop a solid plan based within your budget to maximize the potential to reach the right people at the right time.