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Jan 13, 2022 BY Jarrett Way Marketing

How to Use Our Marketing & Communications Budget Template

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When you think of budgeting for your marketing needs, what feelings arise? Do you shudder at the thought? Do you prefer not to think about it at all? You’re not alone.

Budgeting can feel overwhelming, especially for a newer marketing department without any historical data. The best marketing departments continuously test new messages, concepts, and ideas to reach their goals. If your needs change year to year based on an ever-evolving strategy, how can you possibly determine what you want to request? Our Marketing & Communications Budget Template can help get you on the right track.

Download Our Budget Template

Our budget template is designed to give you some confidence while determining your marketing & communications needs. This spreadsheet is ready to go, including line items for all major areas of marketing operations: If you’ve never budgeted before, let this template serve as documentation for forecasting your budget needs based on your marketing goals. If you already have a budget, take what you want from our template and leave what you don’t!

Getting Started with a Marketing Budget

If you’re building your first budget or need guidance on being more effective (and accurate) with your budget, here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Review your metrics. Review all data to determine the ROI of your previous year’s efforts.

  2. Meet with team/stakeholders. Do this early enough to generate ideas and plans for the year ahead (remember to use all that good data from step 1).

  3. Finalize your communications plan. You can’t possibly set your budget for the year if you don’t have everything you’re planning on doing written down. Our Annual Communications Plan Template can help with that.

  4. Consider technology. Do you have to renew any software? Does your organization have any new technology needs? Is there anything you’re not using anymore? Consult your team.

  5. Draft your budget. Reference your marketing plan and team feedback to build this initial budget. Include everything required to see your marketing plan through, plus a buffer. You may also want to consider allocating money each month for unexpected opportunities that could arise.

  6. Present your budget for feedback. Have your executive team review your budget.

  7. Finalize your budget. If you have to make cuts, work with your marketing team (and any other departments that may be affected) to determine what could reasonably be cut that still allows you to meet your goals for the year. A good question to ask is: “What are we not going to do next year because our budget doesn’t allow it?”

Template Format

You’ll notice two tabs in our spreadsheet template, one for your budget and one for your actuals. You’ll plan your budget in the first, then keep track of what you’re spending throughout the year in the second. If you’d like to keep it all in one tab, you can add a column for actual expenses by month. Up top, you’ll notice that there are columns split up by both month and quarter. There are two additional columns for any notes you might have, as well as your projected (and actual) totals.

On the left, you’ll see a column covering a comprehensive (but non-exhaustive) list of line items. These line items are divided into major areas of marketing operations:

  • General marketing

  • Digital marketing

  • Contract Labor

  • Paid media

  • Events

  • Direct mail

  • Collateral & sales materials

  • Merchandise

  • Dues & memberships

  • Public relations

  • Training & education

We’ve also included a blank “miscellaneous” area where you can add any line items specific to your organization. This is also a good place to include a budget for unexpected expenses. It’s always a good idea to have some buffer built in so you’re not thrown off by one expense. Download our template for free today!

Mighty Citizen Can Help

Not quite sure where to begin with goal setting, or what tactics to prioritize? Reach out and let us give you a roadmap for success. Our experts will analyze your goals, evaluate your organizations, and make recommendations for where to focus your efforts and resources.

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