Did you know the average marketing spend for a small business is between 2% to 5% of their annual revenue? Even then, without the guidance of marketing experts, many businesses use this in ways that do not provide a sound return on investment. So do you know how to get the best from your budget?

There are lots of considerations and possible outcomes. Read on as we discuss how to maximize your marketing investment. 

Goals of a Marketing Budget

If you want to increase profits, then marketing is essential. Without it, no one will know about your business. However, it is not as simple as creating a budget and spending what you have set aside. 

Marketing has many facets and in the digital economy, methods change quickly. Therefore, you need to plan a marketing budget meticulously for a number of reasons. 

Long Term View

Planning in advance lets you get a much better overview of your plumbing and HVAC marketing. You can tie it into other areas better, so you are not scrambling to take budgets from one area and relocate them. Some marketing methods, such as social media, also benefit from a longer-term strategy. 

It Keeps Finances on Track

Not having a plan to go along with your budget will often result in overspending. This is often a cyclical process, in which once you have spent money over budget, you carry on doing so. 

By knowing how much you have overall, you can allocate funds to the right places. Split budgets between digital and traditional marketing and see what works best for you. 

Goal Setting

The first step in your marketing budget is to set goals. Without them, you will not know if you have made an impact, or what the return on investment has been for your chosen campaign.

Goals can be set for a wide array of different lead generation methods. You may aim to increase website traffic, boost your contact list or improve sales in a particular area. 

Break them down into two categories. Numeric goals are ones that aim to increase numbers and statistics. Revenue, units sold, and footfall are all examples. 

Strategic goals are the second type and can be harder to measure. These are ones that require a larger campaign, often built around the direction the company is taking. Expanding into new markets or getting awareness of new products are examples. 

Looking at Trends

Just because your company operates in the home services industry, does not mean it will not be impacted by trends. One of the most recent changes is the impact of renewable energy sources such as solar, and the drive to reduce carbon footprints by making the home more efficient. SMART technology is one way in which the industry is changing. 

By understanding current and upcoming trends in your industry, you can set better goals and create better campaigns. Perhaps you may want to target SMART homeowners or those who want to save money on utility bills. 

Outline Your Campaigns

Now you have the goals you want your HVAC or plumbing marketing to achieve, you need to concentrate on a few campaigns per year. It can be tempting to want everything to happen at once. However, even the biggest firms should not have more than two to three campaigns running at any given time. 

It is also worth bearing in mind that many of these campaigns will also positively impact others. For example, you may aim to increase website visitors and find it results in a natural increase in sales. 

Break these selected marketing campaigns down even further. Decide if they will be run digitally, using traditional marketing, or a combination of both. Note down what methods they will use in these subcategories, such as print media, email, PPC, and others. 

Finally, write down any tools you may need and their costs. Work out the return on investment you expect. 

Consider the Stage of Your Company Operations

When outlining campaigns, you may want to consider the stage your company is at. Generally, these can be broken down into the growth stage or the planning stage. 

Companies in the growth stage are established organizations. People already know who they are and they may have a dedicated customer base bringing in a profit. The goal of marketing in these stages is to increase that profit.

This could be done through campaigns that provide small term spikes in revenue. They could include campaigns for sales, new products, or new markets. 

Companies in the planning stage are still gaining a foothold. Campaigns are therefore designed to build a long-term customer base, through brand awareness and building contact lists. Long-term strategies are more important than quickly increasing the revenue of the company. 

Examples of this could be gaining social media followers for your home services business. You may decide to boost your email lists using a website. 

Align It With Your Sales Plan

Many people make the mistake of assuming that marketing exists in its own sphere. It brings people in, and then sales do the rest of the job. However, to get the best return on investment the two should be aligned. 

Before you start the marketing budget, make sure you have a solid sales plan. How many members of staff will you need and what are their targets? Will you need to develop new bonus schemes or commission structures and what will that cost?

Once you know this, you can choose marketing goals that will assist your staff. For example, what would be the benefit of concentrating your marketing on launching a new product, when your company needs a boost for old ones?

Revisiting Your Marketing Investment

Your marketing investment needs to be revised periodically. By tracking the ROI you can make tweaks, or halt campaigns that are not working. This gives you a much better chance of maximizing your profit. 

If you need marketing assistance, then Optic Marketing Group should be your first stop. Our aim is to tell your story through a unique focus. Contact us here to discuss your needs and let us help you thrive in the digital economy. We can review your revenue goals to help you to determine the best marketing budget and customized plan to help you to achieve your goals.