Just as putting a goal on paper increases the chances of it happening, it’s important to assign dollars to those same goals. From tracking return on investment to benchmarking against industry standards to building credibility within your firm, the benefits are numerous. This month's five tasks will help you clearly define and track your budget. 


  1. Establish an updated marketing budget for the new year. Work with your CMO or Marketing Principal. Consider using a percentage of net revenue or industry standard based on the size of your firm.
  2. Develop a preliminary line-item budget for marketing activities. Start with the tactics outlined in your Marketing Plan. Don’t forget to add in items used throughout the year like monthly fees for computer programs (Adobe and Microsoft products), proposal supplies, etc. Cut items from your previous budget that are no longer working for you. Review your numbers - do they reflect cost increases that may occur?
  3. Distribute your budget to the entire team - Principals, Marketing, and Market Sector Leaders. Point out to them what they are accountable for.
  4. Receive regular budget reports. Coordinate with your Accounting Department to receive monthly or quarterly reports so you can track your budgeted amounts against the actual.
  5. BONUS: Adjust your budget throughout the year. Budgets are not set in stone. They are meant to be adjusted as you go throughout the year and learn what is working and what is not, as well as for sales revenue going up or down. Work hand in hand with your CMO, Marketing Principals, and Accounting Department to adjust accordingly. Your firm leaders will appreciate having a marketing leader who is conscientious of costs and actively measuring return on investment.


Want to learn more? Read our Top Tips on Budgeting with Stephanie Craft

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