Sian Burton, Strategic Marketing Consultant

Your marketing budgets for this year are more than likely set by now and you should therefore be entering 2019 confident that your strategic marketing plans will deliver the results you need?

BUT, I’m interested to know if you recognise these numbers:

  • If your objective is to maintain your current market position, then five per cent of your revenue should be allocated to the 2019 marketing budget.


  • If your objective is to grow this year, then that figure must be doubled if you are to achieve that growth.

If these calculations are completely new to you or if you have any kind of doubt that your marketing plans are going to hit the mark in 2019, then you need to ask yourself and your marketing team some pretty tough questions.

So, after looking at these calculations, have you set yourself up for a strong year, or not? If the budget you’ve set doesn’t align with your growth plans, why not? Is it that you have lost confidence in your marketing teams ability to deliver a meaningful impact? Tough question to answer but one that absolutely needs to be asked.

You should start by looking at the skill-set in your marketing team. For me, there are three core ingredients that are fundamental to the delivery of a successful marketing strategy. If your current team is unable to deliver on any one of these you’re in trouble:

  1. Marketing campaigns that are driven by data: Have your team collected key customer data and do they have the analytical capability to use this insight to deliver targeted campaigns? A strong marketing team will always have a laser focus on its target demographic.
  2. A clear strategic marketing plan, led by clear business objectives: Teams work best with clear objectives – sounds simple doesn’t it – but you must ensure that your marketing team are creating plans and campaign schedules that are aligned to your business objectives.
  3. Creative campaigns that deliver measurable ROI. If you can’t see how the marketing budget is being spent and what the dollar for dollar impact is, then is it worth spending the money in the first place?

All of the ingredients above are fundamental and if one is missing, your marketing teams will struggle to succeed. However, its point number three that I believe could be your secret weapon this year and will make all the difference to your bottom line if you are operating in a tough business environment.

‘Measurable marketing’ has been a buzz word for quite some time but in the digital world we are in, it’s easier than ever before to drive real success with it.

Whilst there are complicated ways to measure ROI, that take into account Lifetime Customer Value, acquisition costs and churn rates, an initial understanding can be gained by measuring and understanding some simple numbers.

  1. How many leads have been generated in the preceeding 12 months
  2. How many of those leads came from marketing camapaigns
  3. What percentage of those leads were converted to sales
  4. What was the average sale value

This information with allow you to measure the ROI of your marketing budget by understanding what value of sales came from the marketing spend. This is only possible, however, if you can measure your marketing activity – something infinitely easier to do when implementing digital marketing over more traditional mass marketing.

So, while it may be too late to change your budgets, there are definitely some things you can be doing right now to make them work harder. If 2018 was tough, then 2019 will be different!