Creating a Marketing Strategy: Part One

If you build it, they will come!

Granted, building a Marketing Strategy doesn't quite feel like the movie Field of Dreams. However, the phrase holds true when developing your company's brand awareness.

You invest a lot of time and money on a business plan. The same effort should go into your Marketing Strategy. For customers to find you, you need to create and deploy a strong plan they can't help but respond to.

Not a short-term throw up a website, try some word of mouth, and put a couple ads into the marketplace kind of plan. Building a Marketing Strategy that works to attract customers consistently is a long-term effort based off and in alignment with your company’s long-term business plan and goals.  

A Dependable Three-Step Guide to Building a Great Marketing Strategy

Developing a Marketing Strategy is no easy feat. It’s a lengthy process that entails many different components. In this 3-part blog series, I’ll help guide you through the following: 

  1. Creating an Inbound Marketing budget: allocation and distribution  
  2. Knowing your target market (personas and their journey through the buying process) — along with knowing your competition 
  3. SMART GOALS, creating an execution plan, and measuring it’s ROI  


How do I Create a Marketing Budget? 

A marketing budget outlines all the money a business intends to spend on marketing-related projects over the quarter or year. Marketing budgets can include expenses such as paid advertising, sponsored web content, new marketing staff, a registered blog domain, and marketing automation software.  

How much do I allocate? 

Based off 2018 marketing trends, a good marketing budget is usually 3 to 5% of top line revenue (not including the marketing department payroll).

Example:  If top line revenue is $2.5M, the total Marketing Budget will be around $125K 

If you have an aggressive growth target, then the budget could be up to 7% of your top line revenue. 

Of course, these are averages. Every company is different — there are always industry standards to consider, as well as revenue and if you’re a start-up versus a well-established company. It’s dependent on your strategy. But it is a good number to keep in mind. 

Where should I distribute my marketing dollars? 

For marketing budget distribution, we've found the new trend developed over the past few years is that there is a portion allocated for inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing strategy

Content is KING!  Twenty percent (20%) should go towards marketing content/collateral development, which will include: 

  • eBooks 
  • White papers 
  • Case studies 
  • Animated video 
  • Video client testimonials 
  • Website enhancements 

Learn more about great content marketing techniques here!

Another 20% will be allocated for focused campaign-building, which includes:  

  • Drip emails 
  • Landing pages 
  • Thank you pages 
  • Social media management 
  • Offers 

After six months of operation, 25% should be dedicated to digital media buys, which include but are not limited to Google AdWords, LinkedIn ads, and Facebook B2B ads.  

Thirty-one percent (31%) should be allocated for sales and business development, which include (but aren’t limited to): 

  • Breakfast/lunch meetings or presentations  
  • Webinars  
  • Follow up with call to action activities 
  • Community Engagement 
  • Partnerships 

The remaining 4% should be allocated for miscellaneous marketing activities such as promotional items that symbolize how your solution can solve pain points. This is critical when running a full ABM program.

Please see the next graph below that shows how a marketing budget should be distributed.   

Marketing budget allocation

You may ask, what about radio, print ads, billboards…? Traditional media isn't dead — though the growth rate may not be as sexy as its digital media counterpart.   

Inbound marketing is more segmented, personalized, targeted and inexpensive than traditional media. However, depending on your company’s business goals, a portion of your budget could be allocated to radio, billboards, newspapers, or magazines if the audience is right.

Another effective way to target a specific audience is associations, industry publications and directories.  Most of these have both digital or print versions that you can advertise in. 

Today, consumers go through an average of almost six touch-points when buying an item. The touch-points may include both traditional and digital. So, having a mix of both compliments your brand awareness driving traffic to your website and leads to conversions.

Source: Knexus Group 

So all this is fine. But who am I marketing to? What are my competitors doing? We'll start to address these excellent questions in Part 2.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about what we do to help companies build marketing strategies. Our Marketing Enablement service has helped more than 70 B2B organizations grow their revenue — and we're sharing how we do it right here.