How to Set a Marketing Budget 2023

Marketing Budget Planning

Marketing is an essential component of any business, as it contributes significantly to the growth and success of the business. Not having a marketing budget can make it hard for businesses to spend on marketing campaigns, which can hurt their growth and profits.

As a business owner or marketing manager, you know how important it is to make the most of your marketing budget. But setting and managing an effective budget can be a daunting process. Let’s take a look at the key steps in creating a successful marketing budget. Choose the best channels, track results, and use them to plan future marketing decisions.

With this marketing guide, you’ll develop insight into what works best for your business so that you can build and create a marketing budget that reaches your target audience and drives substantial returns on investment.

Define Your Business Objectives

The first step in setting a marketing budget is to define your business objectives and create a marketing plan outline. What do you want to achieve through your marketing efforts? Do you want to increase sales funnels, build brand awareness, expand your customer base or all of the above? Once you have defined your business goals, you can set measurable marketing goals that align with them.

Your marketing goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Setting SMART goals will help you determine how much you need to spend on marketing to achieve your objectives.

For example:

As a marketing professional, it’s essential to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). SMART goals can help your business achieve objectives and decide how much to spend on marketing.

Measurable goals, such as analyzing analytics and reports, will give you a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not.

Attainable goals, set within the realm of your business, will keep you motivated and focused on achievable targets.

Relevant goals, staying current with competitors and market trends, ensure that your marketing efforts are targeted and effective.

Time-bound goals, such as setting a campaign start and deadline, create a sense of urgency. So, if you want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, make sure to set SMART goals.

Determine Your Marketing Channels

The second step is to determine your marketing channels. What marketing channels will you use to reach your target audience? There are many types of marketing available.

Will you use digital marketing, social media channels, blog posts, search engine marketing, email marketing, or traditional marketing methods such as direct mail or print ads?

Different marketing channels have different costs, and some may be more effective than others in reaching your target audience. You should research the costs and benefits of each marketing channel before deciding which ones to use. It’s advantageous for you to apply several channels in your marketing plan. Consistency is key and especially using channels that are inexpensive but effective like email campaigns and social media posts.

Research Your Competitors & Target Audience

The third step is to research your competitors. Depending on your product or services that you offer, seek out a local online competitors. What marketing strategies are your competitors using? How much are they spending on their marketing and what is their target market?

Your competitors can provide valuable insights into the marketing activities that work or do not work in your industry. Analyzing your competitors’ marketing strategies and budgets can help you determine how much to allocate to your marketing budget.

As a marketing professional, one of the keys to successful marketing is clearly understanding your target audience. It is the foundation of any effective marketing budget. Who are they, what do they want, and where do they spend their time? Taking the time to research your target audience will allow you to make informed decisions on where to allocate your marketing budget.

Rather than taking a scattergun approach, you can create a focused and effective marketing strategy that resonates with your target audience.

An effective marketing budget focuses on the people you want to convert, rather than the money you want to spend. Remember, successful marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and catering your budget to your target audience is key.

Set Your Marketing Budget

The fourth step is to set your marketing budget. Based on the information you have gathered from steps one to three, you can now create a budget that aligns with your business objectives, marketing goals, target audience, marketing channels, and competitive environment.

Your marketing budget should outline the specific marketing activities you will engage in, the costs associated with each activity, and the expected return on investment (ROI) for each activity.

You’ll need to consider the cost of quality design, the content writing for each piece, printing costs and mailing expenses to name a few.

So, how much should a small business be spending on their marketing efforts? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, on average, small businesses tend to allocate anywhere from 2-14% of their total revenue towards marketing. However, this can vary based on factors such as the industry, goals, competition, and target audience. Some businesses need to market more, while others rely on referrals to stay competitive.

Generally, B2C spend more on average when compared to B2B industries. Ultimately, the key is to evaluate your specific situation and determine a budget that will allow you to effectively promote your brand and reach your goals.

Schedule Your Marketing & Timeline

The fifth step is setting a schedule and timeline. Developing a successful marketing budget requires careful consideration of several aspects, starting with defining your goals, budget, and target audience. Once you have a clear understanding of these key factors, you can focus on scheduling your marketing campaigns.

Writing a marketing plan and using a timeline and defined schedule for each campaign can help ensure that you maximize the reach and impact of your marketing efforts.

whether you’re using email newsletters or social media advertising, and even direct mail, every aspect of your marketing plan should be strategically scheduled to ensure optimal audience engagement. By sticking to a well-organized schedule, you can ensure that your marketing plan stays on track, providing valuable results for your business.

Evaluate and Adjust Your Marketing Budget

The final step in setting a marketing budget is to evaluate and adjust your marketing budget. Marketing is not a static activity; it requires continuous evaluation, market research and adjustment to achieve the best results. You should regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of your marketing activities against your goals and adjust your marketing budget accordingly. If a specific marketing activity is not delivering the expected ROI, you may need to adjust your budget to focus on the more effective marketing activities.


Setting a marketing budget is critical to the success of any business or organization. By following the steps in this marketing guide, you can help you create an effective marketing budget that aligns with your business objectives, marketing goals, and competitive environment.

Remember that setting a marketing budget is not a one-time activity, and you should regularly evaluate and adjust your marketing budget to achieve the best results.


Written by…

Let's Start a Conversation About Your Marketing!

Fill in the form below or give us a call now at 603-404-2909.






    Local Marketing Agencies Southern NH