Determining your marketing budget

marketing budget, marketing, budgetDetermining your marketing/advertising budget is perhaps one of the hardest things to determine for your business. As marketers, we want to create affordable services to our target industries to satisfy the customer as well as make profit for the business. But some businesses don’t have a big budget like others, and get left behind. For instance, we look at the budget and turn it in a way where both businesses are happy.

So how do you determine how much you can spend? There are many ways to determine how figure out your budget. In this post, we will cover a three different ways you can determine a more suitable budget for marketing for your business.

1. Fixed percentage

A. Percentage of revenue

    • taking a fixed percentage of your revenues and allocate that amount for marketing (basically decide on a certain percentange you do want to spend on marketing for your business).
      • For smaller businesses, the most common used numbers are 20%
      • For small/medium sized businesses, the most common used numbers are 5-10%
      • For large businesses, the most common numbers are between 2-5%
    • Picking the percentage that works best for you will probably take some trial and error

B. Percentage of net sales

Just like taking a percentage of revenues, this avenue will help determine your marketing budget as a fraction of your net sales. This method is a little bit less aggressive than the last method, since you exclude expenses from your calculations. And just like the percentage of revenue, this method will also take some trial and error if you can’t seem to find the right numbers.

2. Matching Competitors

Another method to create a marketing budget is to analyze and estimate what the competition is spending and copy them. This can work, but this method also assumes that the competitors are spending the right amount, and that their marketing efforts are in fact working. When using this method, the revenue of a business (in your industry) should still be taken into account.

3. The Dollar Approach

There are actually many businesses that simply set a flat dollar amount for their marketing budget. It can be particularly useful for small businesses, they can base marketing budgets on what they think the company can afford instead of the company’s sales.

Picking a flat rate is more effective for companies looking at a one-time expense, like a public relations marketing, trade show or advertisement, and not a long range marketing plan.

There are numerous other ways to determine your marketing budget, but the first thing you need if you don’t have one is a marketing plan. It ensures you spend only on the programs that make sense for your business, and not the “let’s try this” method. Too many times small businesses work without a marketing plan and spend money on marketing efforts that have absolutely no return on investment.

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the new Facebook business pages: iFrame and iwipa

So a few months ago, Facebook released that they will be discontinuing their Static FBML Application to assist businesses in creating customized tabs on Facebook. (The app was released in 2007 that was initially started to have businesses create their own apps on Facebook). Well ladies and gents, that time has come.

Here is a quote from the Facebook developers blog from December 3, 2010: “End of Year Deprecations, Page Tab Update: In August, we announced that we are deprecating some infrequently used APIs and FBML tags at the end of the year. We encourage developers to make the necessary code changes soon, because these may be breaking changes. We will continue letting developers create new FBML Page tab applications until Q1 2011, because we are still working on the iFrame implementation. We are also postponing the deprecation of fb:board until we offer the ability to export data”.

On December 4, 2010, they released: “We want to give developers time to test and get comfortable with the iframe solution before it’s required, but we haven’t finalized the timing yet.”

So here at the creative offices, we updated and created an all new Facebook page for us. (Click here to see our page). In this post, we will go over some of the bigger changes, as well as our favorite things about the new iFrame and iwipa for Facebook.

First off, Facebook now fully supporting the new iFrame. We took it a step further and got into iwipa, which a huge step forward for Facebook business pages turning into micro websites. This means that developers are free to use popular, simple and standards-based web programming model compared to FBML.  The program we used (seen below) is iwipa (explained as Static FBML + iFrame + Welcome tab). There are so many things to be excited about. Here are a few of our favorite things:

Welcome to the microsite. The new “Welcome Tab” is the micro website. Below you will see our new Welcome Tab that will showcase our micro site on Facebook with a customized header (“Are You Creative?”) and tabs within that tab (Welcome, Services, Clients, etc).

Facebook’s iwipa gives a great opportunity to showcase your YouTube and/or Vimeo videos with a simple embed and coding it directly to the app.

Creating sub tabs is a great feature that is a little easier to showcase different photos, docs, jpegs, etc compared to Static FMBL.

It is also another creative way to showcase your other social sites with icons and not a list of hyperlinks in your info tab.

 

 

So how easy was it to create the new Facebook page? Level of difficulty depends on what you know. Facebook does offer great “How to videos” to explain things to you on the way. However, it took us several hours to build the new Facebook page, and if you don’t have the images you want to use, then it will take longer.

So here are our top 7 reason why we love the new iFrame/iwipa:

1. ANALYTICS. You can track your visitors using Google Analytics. All you have to do is setup a Google Analytics profile and use the Facebook domain.

2. Allows for businesses to tag photos and add keywords to their new customized pages, just like SEO practices. At this moment, we’re undetermined if this will effect Google rankings, or effect a new search Facebook may launch in the near future. No matter the reason, it is a great addition.

3. The opportunity to add video as a simple embed through their coding is a great way to enhance your Facebook page.

4. Total creative control of your tabs. The tabs we selected were similar to the original Facebook tabs, but they have numerous style selections to enhance the tab looks and usage. Not to mention, they also allow the opportunity to create sub-tabs/drop tabs (yea, just like in a website!).

5. Cleans up and de-clutters the basic tabs under the photo so the other important tabs are visible and not hidden (events, polls, reviews, etc)

6. The ability to create your own header/footer. It is a great way to make a statement, place your logo, and take your page to a new level.

7. Ability to hide tabs much easier now to people who are not fans. A great way for restaurants to use this to promote coupons to members who are only members of the page.

 

Again to check out the new iFrame/iwipa page in complete use, go to our Facebook page http://Facebook.com/CreativeStrategy

Stay tuned for our next post, we will go over some quick tips on how to get started in iwipa. Any questions, email us at info@creativestrategyagency.com.

The new Facebook business pages

The ever changing business, Facebook, has changed Business Pages, yet once again. I believe that they changed it for the better. There are many new features that were added that enhance page use, interaction, and insight.


The new page layout has changed significantly. Unless you lived under a rock, you will notice that the new page layout resembles the personal pages layout.

There is a new photo section added to the top, the tabs have moved, the ability to sign in under your business name and many other new features that will talk about in this post as been added.

 

First up, Business Pages now has notifications! It is perhaps one of our favorite new features.

Just like in your personal page, there is the icon to see who has friend requested you. In the business page, the icon symbolizes any new people who have recently Liked your page. This new feature is great to see who the latest followers of your page are.

One of the best part of the update is the notification updates just like in your personal pages. This feature allows you to see who has commented, liked, posted, etc throughout your whole business page.

Another great new feature is that you get to “sign in” as your business page. When you do sign in under your business name, you can then click to the home screen, and you will now see a news feed of all your “Favorite Pages” that you have added to your page. It is a great way to see what your colleagues, clients, etc. are doing.

Some other great new features:

1. A business page can now communicate with other business pages, leaving posts and comments under the business name and not under your name. However, they cannot post on a user’s wall or comment on his or her status.

2. The “everyone” filter that brings most engaging and interesting posts to the top of the page.

3. Latest photos have migrated to the top of the profile, just like in personal pages. Used correctly and effectively, they are a new creative way to advertise products and services.

The new design launched this week as a preview for Facebook Page admins. Admins have the ability to preview and tweak what they see before completely switching over. Facebook also releasing a Page Tour and a manual to explain the new design for the people who may have trouble. Admins will have until March 10 to switch over though, before Facebook automatically updates every page to the new design. So jump in, learn and have fun!

 

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