Five Steps to Devising A Marketing Budget

Creating a marketing budget to suit your business goals can be a difficult task. Each industry is different, each business is different and each target is different. Not only this, with the growth of online companies, but there are also many new and larger exceptions to the rule given the business models used by online companies. To help you, we’ve put together a short post that will deliver the necessary information to create a budget that meets your companies needs.


Step 1: Determine your total budget


To begin with, let’s take a look at how much of your turnover should be set aside for marketing. There are a few different ideas on this, however, the general rule of thumb is 7-8% for companies under £3 million turnover, 11-12% for companies with a gross turnover of £3-20 million and 12% or more for companies with a turnover in excess of £20 million. We will stress that these figures are a guideline but give you a rough idea of how to set up your budget.


Step 2: Decide your digital:non-digital split


Having looked at the total budget for the whole of your marketing, it’s now time to look at how this could be split between digital and non-digital, and how to further split your budget between the different marketing avenues. Splitting your budget between online and offline marketing usually follows a 60:40 rule in favour of offline marketing. However, this can change depending on your goals and some businesses have been known to spend as much as 60% of their marketing budget on online advertising. The only way to determine the best split is to experiment based on your business objectives.


Step 3: Split your offline budget 


Knowing the percentage of your marketing budget that could be spent on offline marketing, this can be further broken down as follows:

  • 30% Design (brochures, flyers, posters, banners)
  • 30% Print (newspapers, magazines)
  • 17% Trade shows
  • 7% Direct mail (postage)
  • 7% Radio
  • 7% TV
  • 2% Other


Step 4: Split your online budget 


As mentioned many times throughout this post, this is just a guide and could be different for your business depending on your needs. From an online perspective, the following split could be used:

  • 25% Website marketing (Google adwords, Bing advertising)
  • 25% SEO
  • 18% Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • 18% Email Marketing
  • 10% Video Marketing (YouTube, Vimeo)
  • 4% Mobile Marketing


Step 5: Worked example


If you take the preceding as a guide, a company with a turnover of £100,000 could spend the following:

  • Budget: £8,000 (8% of £100,000)


  • Offline budget: £3,200 (40% of £8,000)
  1. Design: £960 (30% of £3,200)
  2. Print: £960 (30% of £3,200)
  3. Trade shows: £544 (17% of £3,200)
  4. Direct mail: £224 (7% of £3,200)
  5. Radio: £224 (7% of £3,200)
  6. TV: £224 (7% of £3,200)
  7. Other: £64 (2% of £3,200)


  • Online budget: £4,800 (60% of £8,000)
  1. Website marketing: £1,200 (25% of £4,800)
  2. SEO: £1,200 (25% of £4,800)
  3. Social Media: £864 (18% of £4,800)
  4. Email Marketing: £864 (18% of £4,800)
  5. Video Marketing: £480 (10% of £4,800)
  6. Mobile Marketing: £192 (4% of £4,800)


We hope this has been useful in helping you devise a budget for your marketing efforts. If you would like to learn more or work with Rawlings Design, please, contact us here.