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A big part of setting an effective marketing budget involves determining which activities you should invest your time and money into and which ones are best left alone. Some organisations allocate a set amount each year for general marketing, while others allocate a specific amount to different activities.

Taking a more specific approach means you can plan and budget more thoroughly and determine ahead of time exactly what you are going to spend your money on. It allows you to apportion your budget so you are spending the most on strategies that you know will get you the best results and helps you avoid wasting money on marketing strategies that are unproductive.

So where should you focus your dollars when you’re calculating your marketing budget?

There are so many different possible marketing channels available that it can be overwhelming deciding where to focus your marketing spend. Should you target social media ads, upgrade your website, focus on email marketing or spend your money on PPC advertising?

I’d love to be able to give you a definitive answer, but unfortunately when it comes to deciding where to spend your marketing dollars, there’s no fixed answer that will work for everyone.

The first step is to review your current and previous marketing campaigns to see what channels have given you the best results. You will also want to look at your goals and objectives – if you are keen to boost your visibility you’ll want to look at investing in online advertising, PR and social media marketing.  For businesses who are more concerned with new product launches or rebranding the focus may need to be more on website or marketing collateral.

What are the hot areas for marketing in 2017?

If you’ve looked over your goals and previous marketing campaigns and you’re still not sure what’s going to be the best use of your money, looking at a few of the areas that some of the bigger brands are focusing on in their marketing can help.

According to Marketing Mag, 73% of companies around the world plan to increase their digital marketing budget with the main areas of focus being paid search and content marketing, followed by display advertising and email marketing.

Webstrategies has an interesting chart showing the marketing spending by digital channel in 2016 based on a report created by Forrester Research. This shows email marketing, social media and online display advertising ranked the highest among marketing investment, followed closely by mobile marketing and search marketing.

Deciding exactly where to spend your marketing budget is a great way to really delve into your marketing and define your strategy. By making use of your knowledge about previous marketing campaigns, checking your competitor activity and researching marketing trends you’ll be giving your organisation the best chance of getting great marketing results.