How to plan your marketing budget for 2021

Archive blog
3 minutes read

Planning your marketing budget for 2021:

  • Evaluate your marketing strategy
  • Refresh your marketing plan
  • Build your sales funnel(s)
  • Reverse your sales funnel(s)
  • Agree your budget for activities


Why you should start planning now for 2021

Planning your marketing budget for 2021 may be a good thing to do before the recovery gathers pace. Coming off the back of a turbulent year for all, marketing faced great uncertainty. With the prospect of heightened internal competition for budgets, we look at how to plan your marketing budget for 2021. For some, Zero-Based Marketing (ZBM) will mean a whole new level of governance and no marketing budget at the outset, which we will review in a future article.


When can I ask for more marketing budget?

  • You can justify the return on investment
  • There is a planned level of activity that needs investment
  • You can measure the impact of the extra budget
  • The budget helps to innovate and automate
  • You can directly link spend to an increase in leads
  • There is a need to deploy or refresh technologies

Yes, it is possible that you may ask for more marketing budget, despite the turmoil this year. Ultimately, many businesses seek extra investment, loans and share issues just to raise finance for marketing activity. Marketing remains the growth engine of a business and will be key to your recovery as we move into 2021.


What is included in a marketing budget?

A marketing budget includes all of the marketing activities, channels, timescales and expenditure required as part of your marketing plan. A marketing budget is not a standalone document, rather it is the financial plan within your marketing plan to deliver your marketing strategy. The marketing budget includes all discretionary marketing spend and the results help achieve your marketing goals.

Many marketing budgets are held in spreadsheets but they are not a marketing plan. Remember that a marketing strategy is the logic by which you will achieve your marketing goals, the details of which form an effective marketing plan. Tracking of expenditure is crucial so that you do not overspend and it is a good idea to ensure the finance team agrees with your figures.


How much marketing budget do I need?

The marketing budget you need depends on how many inquiries, leads and sales you need to meet your financial targets. According to the CMO Survey, the biggest challenge facing marketing leaders is innovation. Therefore, you may also want to request budget to invest in new tools, automation and advice to improve your marketing.

The amount of marketing budget varies greatly by industry. The retail and fashion sectors have large budgets to spend on advertising channels. The professional services and technology sectors may have less budget and require a laser-focused approach to targeting. Ultimately, many will try to budget the same as last year or slightly more but nothing is taken for granted following the pandemic.


How can a marketing consultant help with my marketing planning?

A marketing consultant can help with your marketing planning by helping you to design and present a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan. A consultant will help you to align your marketing efforts to business goals, form a cohesive plan to maximise market opportunities and prepare the budget. Furthermore, a consultant will show you how to measure results and how to set an appropriate budget for the marketing results you seek.

Marketing planning and budgeting are long-range activities covering a horizon of 1 to 5 years. From scenario-modelling to competitive strategy, a consultant is a good place to start thinking beyond this year. Innovation, transformation and investment in systems are longer-term plays that require capacity, frameworks and money. A consultant in marketing will support anything from market research to creating a business case to making sure your website delivers on its objectives.


It pays to plan your marketing with Think Beyond

Think Beyond is a management consultancy in Wilmslow, Cheshire. We offer consulting services and agency support for all your marketing needs. Start your marketing journey with us so that you feel supported throughout strategy to execution. From SMEs to corporates to blue-chip, we have solutions to create, consult and change to accelerate your marketing. In summary, no more spending on agencies without support or direction.

Why not read our FAQs on why hiring a marketing expert helps your business growth through marketing.

If you would like to discuss your marketing budget and plan, call 01565 632206 or email

Also, you can complete our easy contact form to request a call back.

Finally, you can find out a little more about us and our philosophy.