The new year is about new beginnings. Your business is back in full swing by now following the festive season break. Plans are made, sale targets are established and budgets are reviewed. One area of your budget that can be tricky to plan is your marketing spend.  A well-defined marketing budget allows you to clearly identify what you will invest in to ensure you engage with new and existing customers while maximizing the return on your investment. Taking advantage of new and innovative marketing initiatives, like scent marketing, are often on the table at the start of a new year and when updating the marketing plan.

The marketing plan and budget

Before we dive right in it’s important to understand what a marketing plan is and why it is so crucial for your business. Simply put, a marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines your marketing goals and the strategies and tactics you will employ to achieve these goals.

The marketing budget is an estimate of the costs associated therewith and projected financial results you intend to reach over a period of time. Your marketing plan and budget keeps your entire team focused.  The marketing budget and marketing plan must work hand-in-hand. The marketing budget is crucial to the marketing process as this determines exactly what you can or can’t do and what will bring the best results to your bottom line.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make for your company is getting rid of the marketing budget when times get tough.  When times are tough, marketing is key!

Creating this plan and budget

Creating a basic marketing plan should answer some of the following questions;

   What should you spend overall?

You need to decide what your entire marketing budget will be and how much of that budget you will allocate to different channels or initiatives. It is true that ‘you need to spend money to make money’ but you need to spend wisely, to get the results for the goals you have set.  One of your goals may be brand awareness and recall and in that case it may not be that easy to determine whether the goal has been achieved by simply looking at sales results in the short term.

   What are the marketing platforms you want to focus on?

There are various platforms or types of marketing you can invest in.  The most common types of marketing are;

     Digital marketing

     Traditional marketing materials, like signage, postcards, or  flyers

     Content marketing

     Out-of-Home marketing like billboards, taxi and bus signage

There are multiple ways to market your brand, but often using subtle and innovative ways can be best. You may consider trying something less common this year, like scent marketing and often these indirect marketing initiatives play on the subconscious of the consumer leaving a long lasting impression. Scent marketing is extremely effective in creating an emotional, less “in your face” connection with a brand. It is soft and gentle and less busy.

   Consider costs and possible ROI

Before you divide up the budget, you need to look at the potential costs and return on investment (ROI) of each one. Traditional marketing methods and out-of-home marketing are often the most expensive. One also has to consider hidden costs like hiring an agency or maintaining content and buying software. Hidden costs vary based on the platforms you may choose.

   What is already working?

You need to outline what has already been done by your company – what worked and what didn’t. From there you can decide what needs to change or how to step up what you are already currently doing. For example, you may decide that you need a new scent for your space. Scent marketing allows customers to recognise your brand, as well as evoke emotions in your customers. However, you may feel that in the spirit of the new year, it is time and would be effective for your company to have a new scent associated with it. This enables you to evoke new emotions and memories in your customers, allowing them to explore new realms of your company and brand.

   Divide the budget

Once have prepared the marketing plan, you need to decide how much money to invest on each campaign or platform. Allocating enough funds to each platform allows for a well-rounded marketing plan to succeed and enables your company to have the best possible results.

The need for scent marketing

Scent marketing can take your business and your brand to new heights. By allocating budget to scent marketing, you are investing in the creation of a recognizable brand through appealing to the often forgotten sense of smell.  Scent marketing is memorable while being completely subtle.

An adequate marketing plan and budget has the ability to completely transform your company so why not add something extra and allocate marketing budget to something unique and long-lasting?