Breaking Down Your Marketing Budget

By the time we sit down with someone about marketing, they're at a place where they have a little bit of budget and it's burning a hole in their pocket. They're excited to start investing in brand awareness and sales drivers. They're also a bit overwhelmed. Sometimes they have an idea of how they want to spend their budget. But often we need to provide some context and guidelines on how best to spend it. There are some general rules to follow when it comes to your marketing budget to ensure sustainability, success, and stability. Here's what you need to know.


Whatever You Do, Consistency Is Key

We will not stop saying this; marketing is a long-term game. Particularly when it comes to digital marketing and marketing for new brands. Customers need 5-7 exposures before deciding to purchase and often the best way to do that is to have different types of exposure: samples through demo'ing, social media, and maybe some PR.

For food brands, we always say the first thing you should do with your marketing budget is to invest in demo's. Whether it's at farmer's markets, grocery stores, or other events. There is nothing better than having someone taste your product, while you tell your company story, demonstrating how to eat/prepare it, and showing them where to buy it. 

So if you've got regular demo's and are wondering what is next, know that it should be something sustainable and long term. We often recommend investing a monthly budget that can be as small as $50/month on social media. Boosted posts, social ads, or giveaways. Build up an audience online and remind them often of how fantastic and delicious your product is.


Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

It's never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your marketing budget. Unless you have a really small marketing budget and are just starting off, you'll want to diversify. Maybe you have $100/month and 50% of that is going to social media ads and the other 50% is for product to be sent for influencers to sample. Again, keep in mind that what you're going for is repeat exposures.

One mistake many brands make is saving up for one big promotion like an ad in a magazine. Yes, you're going to reach 10,000 people....once. The rule of thumb is that they need to be reminded of your product around 6 more times. It's better to have a smaller pool of people that you can connect with regularly than a large number of people that are briefly introduced to you once.

Or it could go the other way. What if all 10,000 of those people order your product online, are you going to be ready for that sort of immediate increase in demand? Play the long game and slowly build up your marketing strategies.

Plus, you never know when Facebook is going to be sued by the government or Instagram may have a media scandal. It's just not a good idea to rely too heavily on one source of promotion.


Be Patient

That excitement from having a marketing budget or hiring an agency can quickly turn to resentment and frustration when you're not seeing immediate results. Yes, you should see more strategy behind your marketing and an increased awareness but say it with is a long-term game.

We generally say that it takes 2-3 months before we start to see some momentum on social media after we take over and now that we're a few years old, we're starting to see real traction after a full year of working with companies. Marketing is a constant and necessary investment.

Keep an eye on your marketing efforts, track it, but know that it's like any other investment that is going to go up and down but over the long-term you should see growth.


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