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15 Dec 2017
One of the biggest mistakes any digital marketer can make is setting a budget for a year and failing to review it.
The digital marketing landscape in particular is ever-changing, meaning it’s crucial to stay on top of trends as they surface to maintain relevance and credibility to your customers.
When establishing a budget, it’s a good idea to use a combination of two planning techniques: goal-setting and forecasting. Digital marketing budgets are an ongoing project as much as they are an annual exercise.
Annual budgets should take into account everything that may impact on marketing efforts for that year instead of simply altering the structure of previous years’ budgets. Is a new company branch opening? Are there large events occurring throughout the year? The most important question to ask is how the marketing strategy aligns with the company’s goals, and how the budget will be used to achieve them.
Budgets in the digital landscape regularly need to be tweaked to keep up with industry trends. For example, paid search or social advertising require regular performance analysis that might prompt redistribution of budget.
Because digital channels fluctuate frequently, staying on top of where time and resources are going helps in maximising value and getting optimal results. If something isn’t working, change it then measure it again. Successful budgeting isn’t simply a matter of setting it and forgetting it for the rest of the year.
Furthermore, marketers often make the mistake of measuring success by how many leads they generate instead of their actual impact on revenue. While a campaign may be popular and attain a lot of responses, few of those responses actually turn out to be business. Measuring leads doesn’t give you the information to gauge how your marketing is actually working.
Consider using specific metrics to track which leads bring about sales and measure conversion rates, taking note of the percentage that converts from stage to stage. Use this number to inform the adjustments you make to your budget. If you understand how your lead generation campaigns perform, you can make the right strategic investments over time to improve your results.