Gini Dietrich

How Do I Split My Marketing Budget?

By: Gini Dietrich | October 21, 2010 | 

Coming to you from vacation, the Arment Dietrich Facebook question of the week comes from Ann Manion. Ann is president at Hotel Advantage and she is a huge advocate of social media. I “met” her only a couple of weeks ago, but have been really pleased not only with her level of engagement (see this newsletter on Hotel 71), but also at her ability to take on some risk and try new things. She saw the video a couple of weeks ago on how to budget social media and asked us to take it a step further…she asks, “how do I split my marketing budget?”

The answer is in the video which you can view below or by clicking here.

Do you agree with our breakdown? Or would you recommend something differently for Ann?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • SteveMann

    Have you vetted these ratios? If so where? If not would you? I’d love to see how what you propose stack up against other organizations.

    • GiniDietrich

      @SteveMann We have not. We just took how much we spend for each client, combined it with our own marketing, and drew an average.

  • SamanthaCollier

    Great video and stats Gini. I’m working on our budget right now and am incorporating your points 🙂

  • BethHarte


    Vacation! How wonderful. Have a great time. 😉

    I just wanted to chime in here… I think it’s really important to NOT select tactics and put budget towards them until there is a plan for overall marketing.

    This is, unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes companies make, they budget per tactic versus per plan. Those very important objectives and strategies that are part of a plan will guide companies in which tactics are most important.

    It’s also really [really! really! Is that expressive enough?!] important from a planning/budgeting perspective to have a clear understanding on how customers like to be communicated with and what they respond to best (Do they like E-Mail? Direct Mail? Tweets? Do they respond to those tactics?). Otherwise, a lot of money could be wasted.

    An outside-in perspective can really save those budget dollars…especially in this economy.

    Beth Harte
    Serengeti Communications

  • SteveMann

    @ginidietrich please post those numbers when you get a chance? I’d like to incorporate it into some of the research I’m doing on this
    re: Marketing planning, wholeheartedly agree.. have to have a plan on what works for you before moving forward.
    re: Vacation? Where I just moved to colorado from new york

  • ginidietrich

    @BethHarte TOTALLY agree and that’s what we discussed on the video a couple of weeks ago. I think Ann’s question was more, “Okay…we figured out what we want, how do we budget for it.” That being said, do you agree that one percent of total revenues is the right number for a marketing program (not including trade shows and media buy)?

  • ginidietrich

    @SteveMann OMG! Where in Colorado?! My favorite state! I’ll live there one day…after Arment Dietrich and Project Jack Bauer allow me to retire.

  • ginidietrich

    @SamanthaCollier Also read what @BethHarte writes above so you don’t miss anything in planning!

  • The percentages will be different for everyone, of course, and some of my (very small) clients spend almost nothing on traditional advertising because they can’t afford it. But a balance between blogging time, social media time, and e-mail seems about right to me for the new media budget no matter who we’re talking about.

    That brings up a fave topic of mine – one that seems a bit unsexy and is rarely talked about all that much. Email marketing. Oh, yeah. I find that once people have given a client their email addy they are the truly hooked who want to know more, and anything we put out on the email updates is definitely going to have impact. It’s definitely worth time cultivating and making sure we give our most supportive community members something good!

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid I totally agree about email marketing. I think we sometimes get lost in the pretty, shiny penny and forget what really works well. In a comment on a post earlier this week, someone was giving me a hard time about white papers. But the fact of the matter is, for our B2B, highly specialized clients, white papers (via email marketing) work brilliantly.

  • SteveMann

    @ginidietrich Roaring fork valley — where Aspen is.

  • BethHarte

    I didn’t see the first part, sorry! There are several ways to determine total marketing spend (including media, events, ads, etc.): Percentage of sales, percentage of net revenue, based on what competition is spending, what’s normal for the industry, etc. Ultimately, it depends on the company. I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer.

  • 3HatsComm

    Gini, You ARE serious with this! I am on vacay in a couple weeks, but I will so NOT be blogging (have a guest subbing for me). Have fun and I’ll see you when we get back. Anyway…

    Beth’s point about plan first, budget then apply it to tactics is right on. Also agree you have to build in review time, flexibility so that when you see a higher return on the email campaign vs. something else, you can adjust accordingly. Working for small businesses, I’ve often had projects and budgets serve double duty; leverage the event for PR, email marketing, newsletters and social media. Like Beth mentioned, it’s budgeting smarter so you’re not wasting money. FWIW.

  • ginidietrich

    @3HatsComm I’m not going to lie and pretend I did all of the blog posts last week. I had most of them saved up. But I did do the video…as you can tell by the lack of make-up and my hair being a mess. 🙂

  • RichBurghgraef

    Gini, great response to the question of % of budget. I think that the breakdowns will definitely change based on industry and how much attracting clients plays a part in growth compared to a company that is more sales oriented.

    We are also finding that more clients are looking closer at return on investment for their particular form of marketing; although some are easier to track than others. It is relatively easy to see who downloaded a white paper from your website, for example (and hopefuly they are following up on these leads, but that’s a different conversation entirely,) but a little harder to track the client you cold called who then Googled the company to find your website, facebook page, etc. and based their decision to even talk to you partially on what they read there.

  • Exhibits

    Nice video conferncing!The sprit of social media marketing is first one think for face book.The frinds sharing for our opinien and thinking.Face book is the best way for shring information.

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