Marketing budgets are an important priority for any successful small business. In Part 1 of this series we took a look at why you should have a marketing budget.

Whether you’re a current business owner or are looking to start one soon, marketing budgets are vital to having a healthy business. Part of this series is to fully dive into the necessary components of a marketing budget.

Let’s dive into the key components to a complete marketing budget and the value each piece adds to your business.


1. Labor

This is the cost of executing the marketing strategy work. If you are a small business owner, this is the retainer you pay a marketing company for services. This cost is different for every business but it should be the most costly slice out of your total budget pie. This is the busy work that will produce necessary assets that you’ll need for successful marketing campaigns.

Similar to getting your car fixed at your local auto shop, this cost is typically the most because you are paying a professional for their time and value. Instead of changing the oil or rotating the tires yourself, your small business is paying for work in graphic design, content creation, or branding updates.

This cost might fluctuate through the year as well. From creating campaigns to promoting big events, labor can help you achieve high performing marketing efforts for your small business.


2. Advertising

Advertising isn't required, but it certainly helps. Think of it this way - it's easier to get a lot of people to listen to your message with a megaphone as opposed to just yelling it out on a street corner.

This includes both print and digital advertising efforts and again depends on where your ideal customers exist (nowadays, almost every target market group can be found online).

If your funds are limited, start small - even $20 a week for digital ads can go a long way in regard to getting your small business in front of more people. With a consistent ad strategy, you will be able to maintain steady growth throughout the year.


This is how many businesses have an advantage in specific quarters of the year. A great example to think about, is how much money is poured into advertising during the Super Bowl. Companies line up year after year to fork up millions to get their brand across the country to millions of viewers.

Think of the impact these ads have for these large companies. Now you don’t have to go out and purchase a million dollar ad. You can add just as much value to your business with an effective ad strategy. Whether you want to spend thousands or just a couple hundred, ads in today’s industry are a great way to expand your awareness and grow your business.

Ads matter a lot and they should be accounted for in your marketing budget.

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3. Items

This cost is variable, especially based on your industry. Think t-shirts, business cards, flyers, posters, packaging materials, etc. These goods are used to keep customers aware of your brand physically or digitally.

Think of all those bumper stickers with business names. These are marketing efforts that were included within a budget somewhere. Every time you see a 4 Rivers bumper sticker, you are reminded of the brand, their delicious food, and you might even consider eating there soon.

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Whether you plan on having events or want to create a show stopping sales deck, these materials cost money to make. Considering them as part of your marketing budget will help you see how much you can allot towards these efforts.


4. Services

The services category includes costs such as domain registration(s) for your website, business email hosting, etc. These are the costs that you should consider in order to help operate your business.

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From Chatbots to a Point-Of-Sale system, clearly identifying what you need to operate marketing for your business successfully, can help you save money in the long run.

Ask yourself, what do I need in order to operate my marketing strategies? List out what you think you need and start researching costs. You can adjust accordingly along the way if things change.



Ultimately, every marketing budget will be unique to its business. The great takeaway is understanding what makes up your marketing budget and how each piece can play a vital role in your marketing strategies’ success.. And even if you can’t dedicate a large amount of money towards marketing now, you’ll at least understand how to organize your budget for future campaigns.


Does your marketing budget include all of the above? Have you considered adjusting your budget recently? We’d love to hear how you breakdown your budget in order to market your business!

Leave a comment below!