An estimation of a company's promotional expenditures over a period of time. An advertising budget is the money a company is willing to set aside to accomplish its marketing objectives. When creating the advertising budget, a company must weigh the trade-offs between spending one additional advertising dollar with the amount of revenue that dollar will bring in as revenue.
Companies can determine what level to set their advertising budget several different ways, each of which has its positives and negatives. A business can set its budget as a percentage of sales, at the same level as its competitors, as the amount required to meet a certain objective, as the entirety of its profits or as a function of the units of product it wants to sell among others.
The advertising budget of a business is typically a subset of the larger sales budget and, within that, the marketing budget. Advertising is a part of the sales and marketing effort. Money spent on advertising can also be seen as an investment in building up the business. In order to keep the advertising budget in line with promotional and marketing goals, a business owner should start by answering several
1. Who is the target consumer? Who is interested in purchasing the product or service, and what are the specific demographics of this consumer (age, employment, sex, attitudes, etc.)? Often it is useful to compose a consumer profile to give the abstract idea of a "target consumer" a face and a personality that can then be used to shape the advertising message.
2. What media type will be most useful in reaching the target consumer?
3. What is required to get the target consumer to purchase the product? Does the product lend itself to rational or emotional appeals? Which appeals are most likely to persuade the target consumer?
4. What is the relationship between advertising expenditures and the impact of advertising campaigns on product or service purchases? In other words, how much profit is likely to be earned for each dollar spent on advertising?
Answering these questions will help to define the market conditions that are anticipated and identify specific goals the company wishes to reach with an advertising campaign. Once this analysis of the market situation is complete, a business must decide how best to budget for the task and how best to allocate budgeted funds.
There are several allocation methods used in developing a budget. The most common are listed below:
1. Percentage of Sales method
2. Objective and Task method
3. Competitive Parity method
4. Market Share method
5. Unit Sales method
6. All Available Funds method
7. Affordable method
It is important to notice that most of these methods are often combined in any number of ways, depending on the situation. Because of this, these methods should not be seen as rigid but as
building blocks that can be combined, modified, or discarded as necessary. Remember, a business must be flexible—ready to change course, goals, and philosophy when the market and the consumer demand such a change.
Percentage of Sales Method
Due to its simplicity, the percentage of sales method is the most commonly used by small businesses. When using this method an advertiser takes a percentage of either past or anticipated sales and allocates that percentage of the overall budget to advertising. But critics of this method charge that using past sales for figuring the advertising budget is too conservative, that it can stunt growth. However, it might be safer for a small business to use this method if the ownership feels that future returns cannot be safely anticipated. On the other hand, an established business, with well-established profit trends, will tend to use anticipated sales when figuring advertising expenditures. This method can be especially effective if the business compares its sales with those of the competition (if available) when figuring its budget.