5 Benefits of Sharing Your Marketing Budget
The old adage that there are three things to avoid talking about at the dinner table—religion, politics, and money—is something most of us are familiar with.
In particular, we’ve been indoctrinated to feel as if any discussion of money is taboo, at the dinner table or otherwise. When we’re forced to break that taboo, we feel vulnerable, stressed, and exposed to judgment or exploitation from others.
Add in the dreaded word “budget” and those negative feelings are compounded. Having a budget can make you feel like you’re imposing limits upon yourself. It may trigger FOMO—the fear of missing out on something “better”: better products, better service, better quality.
But when it comes to budgets, everyone, from fancy to frugal, should have one. And you might be surprised to find that once you have a solid budget in mind, those negative feelings melt away. You’ll discover that when it’s necessary to share your budget with others, they will respect it and will honor your limits.
Honoring your budget doesn’t mean missing out
Imagine you’re in the market for a new home. Armed with a long list of your needs and wants, you hop on the internet and search for properties in your preferred location. Seeing all the beautiful homes on your screen, you get excited. Next you start filtering your results by property type, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and must-have amenities. The list gets a bit shorter. Then you put in your maximum budget and boom—the list of available homes drops to nearly nothing.
But this doesn’t mean you can never buy a home. It just means you need to adjust your expectations. Do you really need a pool? Can you scale back to three bedrooms instead of four? Can you consider a less expensive fixer-upper and make updates later?
And when it comes to investing in your brand, much like shopping for a home, it’s best to know your marketing budget early and be willing to share it when necessary.
5 Benefits of Sharing Your Marketing Budget
You don’t have to go posting your marketing budget on social media for all the world to see. But sometimes, sharing your budget with the right people is absolutely necessary. Here’s why:
1. It defines parameters.
It would be unusual to approach your real estate agent with the question, “How much is a house?” When the question is posed in that way, the answer could range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.
Your realtor would likely respond to you with more questions:
“Where do you want to buy a house?”
“What size of house do you need?”
“What types of amenities do you want?”
“How soon do you need to be in it?”
It’s the same when it comes to investing in your branding and marketing. We frequently get questions like “How much does it cost to design a logo?” “Can you give us a ballpark estimate for creating a website?” or even more general “How can I attract more customers?” And just like the scenario with the real estate agent, it’s impossible to provide an accurate answer without knowing more about your brand, your current business, and your marketing goals in order to identify the scope of the project.
Communicating your budget upfront makes sure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goal.
2. It prevents wasted time.
Time is valuable. Unlike money, when it’s gone, there’s no way to make more. When buying a home, it’s easy to be swept up in the fun of it all, maybe even check out a few homes you know are outside your budget. But if you can’t afford those homes, all you’ve done is wasted your time and the time your real estate agent could be investing in finding you a great home that’s within your budget.
When you need branding and marketing services, discussing your budget up front with the agency you want to work with saves time too. The right agency will never try to make you spend more than you can afford. They will instead adjust the scope of the services they offer you to work within the parameters of your budget.
For example: You’re a small-business owner with an amazing product that needs branded packaging and you know the most you can spend is $250. When you share your budget with us up front, we can show you options and alternatives, like investing that money in an hour of 1:1 consulting to make a plan to reach your goals.
If you don’t have a budget in mind, you may waste time chasing options that are outside of your budget. You run the risk of spending hours on the internet, interviewing service providers who will likely return a proposal for work that’s far above your budget. Or even worse, spending that $250 on a solution that fails to deliver on what you were promised.
3. It fends off “the grass is always greener” syndrome.
It’s hard to look at your friend’s home with a double garage, inground pool, and covered patio and not feel that your carport, kiddie pool, and deck umbrella are subpar in comparison. However, each is an effective solution to the same problem—keeping vehicles safe from the elements, providing a way to cool off in the heat, and offering shade on a sunny day.
We want to be good stewards of your budget. When you share your budget with us early on, we can provide solutions that make you comfortable with what you can afford without feeling like you’re missing out on something “better.” Together, we’ll find answers to your challenges that add value to your business while keeping you in your budget comfort zone. You should never feel pressured to spend more than you can afford just to keep up with the Joneses.
4. It gets you the best bang for your buck.
In the end, what we all really want is the most value for what we are able to comfortably spend. When looking for homes, you typically have a max price point. Of course, you don’t want to go all out if you don’t have to. However, your agent will likely show you a few homes above your price point when they know you’ll see a significant value increase with a minimal difference in investment.
It’s the same when it comes to your branding and marketing. With a budget cap set, we can think inside AND outside the box. We can explore options that might offer lots more value with slightly higher expenditure, and we can show you the best-quality options that are comfortably within your budget. This way, whichever option you choose, you will know you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
5. It leads to comfortable negotiations and mutual respect.
When you find the house you want, your agent will guide you toward a good starting offer—one that’s probably less than the asking price but not a low-ball offer that may offend the sellers. At the same time, you should avoid offering a price that is too high, leading to the discomfort of monthly mortgage payments you can’t afford.
The stress you may feel during the back and forth of buying a home is only natural, just as being afraid to share your budget is a natural and understandable emotion. You may feel vulnerable, expecting the person on the receiving end of your money to take that as a green light to spend it all unnecessarily. But in terms of your marketing budget, sharing the details with your chosen agency is best done early in the conversation to get the best value.
Having open and honest communication regarding your budget and goals up front makes negotiating a smoother process and allows everyone involved to maintain respect for each other. The whole process is easier for everyone and you can move into your new home (or new marketing plan) with confidence.
At Hillhouse Creative, we want you to reach your goals. Our success is your success, and we make decisions based on outcomes, not on how much you have in your wallet.