Marketing GPS:
Navigating Your Marketing Options

How to Set Your 2011 Marketing Budget
By Liz Harsch
of Tailor-Made Advertising
(Torrance, CA)

Budgeting and planning
December 2010

A potential client recently asked me how to determine what to spend on advertising in 2011. Her concerns were that her market had changed and she no longer knew what a healthy advertising and marketing budget should look like. She felt she paid more for advertising over the last two years and that her average sale was less than it was prior to the recession.

I asked her what she wanted her sales to look like in 2011. The fact was she had no idea, since the last two years have seemed so up and down. So we built a projected sales goal together, based on past history and 2010 sales-to-date. We identified the best customers she had seen over the last year as well was the type of customers she did not want to attract. The goal was to redefine a normal year and set a goal for 2011.

This article from Entrepreneur Magazine shows the benefits of redefining your business. It explains why you must let go of past assumptions and let your numbers define your company's best qualities, and, why you must identify the market segment you should target. If you've been in business for a long time, do not fall back on past experiences with an attitude that says, "Oh, I tried direct mail in 1985" or "Tying into a non-profit promotion did not work for us in 1990." These are new times and you must look at the facts and identify new opportunities in 2011.

In addition to tracking your sales and defining your target market, it is key that you set an advertising and marketing budget that is realistic and implement a program with measurable results. What does it really cost you to attract a customer and how do you retain them? You need to consider all the costs - the basics, such as rent, as well as your time (for example, to run an online social media campaign) and that of your employees in order to determine your actual ROI. Set a budget you can afford and set sales goals that need to be achieved to support that budget.

Today you have more choices than ever before to market your business. You will want to split your budget into parts, first to ensure that you are using some of it to touch potential customers several times. Another part should impress them with your professionalism and service. Then a part should be retaining your past consumers to ensure you don't lose market share as you try to expand your reach in 2011. Be where your potential customers are looking for a solution to the problems that your products solve best.

Make sure you look at your product mix and identify which products are making you a profit today and which ones are not. If your production or shipping costs have been steadily rising, yet your prices have stayed the same, it is likely you are upside down on some of the products you sell.
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At Tailor-Made Advertising, we have helped business owners in all types of environments define their budget and invest in the best marketing and advertising media mix to achieve their goals. That is why our process of planning your advertising program starts with identifying your goals so we can deliver the sales you need to grow your business.

For a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your 2011 plans, contact Liz Harsch at Tailor-Made Advertising in Torrance at (310) 791-6300 or liz@adteamla.com.

Tailor-Made Advertising
23670 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 205
Torrance, CA 90505
www.tailor-madeadvertising.com
Constant Contact All-Star Business PartnerTailor-Made has been awarded the Constant Contact All-Star Award for email quality and results.
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Liz Harsch
Liz Harsch has been a Market Consultant for retail and service companies in Greater LA since 1982.  To learn about her Torrance company visit www.adteamla.com
(310) 791-6300

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