The Expectations of a Marketing Budget

Mitch Wainer, co-founder and CMO at DigitalOcean, believes “More than ever, CMOs are realizing the value of content and content marketing. It’s where we invest the majority of our time and resources. Our content marketing team is our largest team on marketing.”


What was the budget at the beginning of the year or quarter? Has it been enough? Stacie Grissom, editor-in-chief of the BarkBox, says that in her budget, “We include distribution, a budget for in-office writers and outside contributors, and a budget for content creation. If we see a lot of success with one specific initiative or campaign, we ask for additional money for that specific project.”

Metrics of Success

“You want to leverage as much data and insights as possible from previous content programs,” says Wainer. “For example, you can outline a specific article and the level of impact it had on the business including [increased] website and unique visitors. What did that turn into in terms of conversions and revenue? That’s very impressive if you can tie it back to revenue. Having a solid attribution tracking system in place makes a lot of sense.”

A Checklist

A strategic marketing plan will need to be created that incorporates research, goals, strategies, tactics, budget and timeline, the main elements will include:

Messaging — creation of message map, positioning and identification of brand center for content creation and storytelling purposes.

Content and Materials — creation of required content, materials and selection of martech tools for the program. Includes development of investor/corporate materials, business plan, marketing plan, corporate identity, press materials, ongoing blog and social media content, speeches and visuals. Creation of advertising as needed, paid content distribution costs and Ad spend.

Public Relations Outreach — working with key media outlets to generate positive business and consumer media coverage. Includes paid, owned and earned media via online, blogs, podcasts, events, radio, etc.

Strategy, Administration and Planning — ongoing meetings in-person or via Skype/phone and production of monthly activity and coverage reports.

Other Considerations — hosting and printing fees (if any), designers, photographers, and videographers.

What if we thought differently about how we generate revenue through marketing?

From Speculation to Test, Test, Test

It’s easier to estimate how much budget you will need if you know what types of content you’re creating. When fleshing out your Q1 strategy, think about cadence. How much content, and which content types and channels do you need to get through each week, month, and quarter? Are you going to employ a “big rock” content strategy, and pay a freelancer $1000 for one large research project and then internally break that piece into 10 blog posts? Whatever your content strategy, knowing how much content you need will help you decide how much budget is needed.

Tools That Track Success

web2C mobile and marketing analytics

Source: Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2017)

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Richard Sink is the Founder/Owner of Critical Connections He has been recognized as a Top 1% Worldwide Profile on LinkedIn and SlideShare and ranked 18th for Social Business on Twitter. He has more than 14 years of social business integration expertise. Learn more and book a free 30-minute session here.

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