It is not new that communication is seen as the poor relative of companies when making annual budgets. Especially in times of trouble and uncertainty, like the one we live in today, whenever a company needs to make cuts, marketing – and communication in particular – appears as the logical scapegoat ready to slaughter.
Therefore, it is not surprising that several companies have never even allocated part of their annual budget to communication – a problem that occurs more with small companies, where budgets are shorter, than with big multinationals.
We know, however, that this reality is gradually changing and that, increasingly, companies realize the importance of betting on a careful, coherent image, something that can only be achieved with an outlined marketing and communication plan and with the respective budget allocated.
For that reason, here are five reasons why you should to set aside part of your annual budget for marketing and communication for your company:
1. The image counts
More and more, what a company or business communicates is scrutinized, especially in times like the one we live in, where digital is king. Taking care of the image of your company is just as important as the work that it develops. It is imperative to have an image that is coherent with the mission and values defended by the company and that this also appears in the different communication channels in which it is present. Therefore, it is important that part of the marketing budget is dedicated to the issues of branding and creative brand development.
2. Don’t fall by the wayside
The old saying goes: “Those who are not seen, are not remembered”. The same is true for your business. Not betting on an integrated marketing and communication strategy will keep your work to a certain extent, but without any kind of projection. This could have drastic consequences in the future and make your company be forgotten – by partners, customers, suppliers, followers… It is not only companies that do not reinvent themselves that die, those that do not communicate also have an announced death, and both variables are closely linked – for a good communication strategy requires some imagination, creativity, planning and (of course) budget.
3. Betting on innovative approaches
Marketing presents itself with an endless world of variables, in which companies must choose those that make the most sense for their business strategy. The digital age has undoubtedly brought great challenges for companies, but also great opportunities when it comes to promoting their business. Investing in innovative marketing and communication strategies is only possible if you have the financial capital to do so, as being in the digital is easy, but doing it well requires investment, not only in human resources but in platforms and development. Keep this in mind when planning your annual budget so that you are not caught off guard.
4. Reinforce the company’s visibility and reputation
It never hurts to reinforce that your image counts and, in this field, we are not just talking about branding or graphic coherence. We talk about communicating a strong message that reflects your company’s purpose and that conveys it as faithfully as possible to interested parties. We aren’t just talking about internal communication or with partners, but especially with your customers, through social media and other direct communication channels, events, but also communication with the media, bringing more credibility to your company’s reputation. Thus, it is always important that part of your marketing budget is allocated to community management and media advice.
5. From people to people
Knowing your customer, having a good, segmented database and a good CRM system will determine much of your business success. Never forget: your business only exists because it has people capable of making it happen and because on the other side your customers are also human beings, with needs and challenges that they count on you to help them solve. Part of a marketing strategy – if not all – is to understand what your client is looking for, what their aspirations and real needs are. In this field, research, data analysis, focus groups and market studies are essential to make your plan happen. Don’t forget that knowledge is power.
How do I divide my marketing budget effectively?
There is no magical way, but the first step is to – as mentioned above – allocate a specific budget just for marketing. Set this value, since from there you will be able to understand which strategies you can bet on based on the goals you have set for the following year.
You can also benefit from taking into account the marketing costs you had in the previous year (implementation, human resources, external agencies, etc.) in order to better forecast the expenses for the next year.
Define your goals and, from there, list the items on which you will have to divide your budget. Ask suppliers for quotes if necessary and always leave a margin for each item in your budget.
Are you ready to make marketing stand out in your company? Contact us if you need support to prepare your communication plan or put it into practice in your company.
See you soon!
Rita Justo, press officer e content curator na Media em Movimento