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Map your company's marketing budget now and navigate your way to consistent branding.

Few people would argue that having a budget for office supplies, personnel, or vendor services is not a good idea. But too often, people approach their marketing in a scattered fashion, creating a piece of marketing collateral as the need arises, or placing an ad when a good deal comes their way. The result? Overspending on some projects, underspending on others, and an overall inconsistent message to your target audiences.

The solution? Plan your marketing budget for the year, then spend it strategically.

As a rule of thumb, many experts suggest spending 8-10% of your annual budget on marketing. This is helpful, but it's also important to ask yourself about your marketing goals as they relate to your company's overall exposure and branding.

For example, if you're a new company, your budget should be larger than 10% of your expected annual revenue to accommodate the need for basic start-up materials, such as a logo, website, business cards, business stationery and marketing collateral.

If you have an established company with a strong client base, perhaps you'll plan your budget with the objective of staying in front of your audiences through primarily advertising efforts.

Finally, if your company is going through a transition or is ready to refresh your marketing materials, you should plan to spend a little more to re-communicate your brand through a logo refresh, website makeover, and updated marketing collateral. Don't forget a roll-out advertising campaign to let your clients know how you're changing!

Wherever your business falls on this continuum, know that your marketing budget will need to encompass a range of products and services, including many of the following:

marketing consultation, planning, or market research
graphic design services
media purchasing
printing services
website hosting
website programming
video production
professional photography
model fees

Confused about what you may need? Get suggestions from your agency. They've likely worked with companies of many sizes, and can help you prioritize your marketing needs based on experience, and even give you ballpark estimates of costs. Better yet, if you know your budget, enlist your agency to help you spend it strategically. They can help you determine where it makes sense to cut costs and where it may make sense to spend a little more.

Here are a few more resources to consider when planning your company's marketing budget:




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Improve Your Business Image: Tips to look your best in person, pictures,and print.
Friday, October 10 3:00-5:00pm
308 Prince Street, Studio 226, St. Paul;  612-481-2370

Join panelists Stephanie Hansen (FM 107.1 and Printz.com), Wendy Blomseth (InBeaute Photography), Cari Spears (Eagan Shirtwerks), and Katrina Hase (Mix Creative) for this engaging and informative seminar about communicating your business image effectively and consistently. Sponsored by Minnesota Women in Networking (www.mnwin.org).

More information about the seminar and how to register.


Schuler Shoes. Direct mail campaign to show the fall line of fine brand shoes. Art direction, graphic design, photo styling by Mix Creative.



Twin Cities Women's Choir. Poster concept for Illuminations Concert, celebrating the return of light to our lives around the time of the winter solstice. Original art created with oil pastels. 




Connection Concierge. Website, media kit and branding.


M Design Interactive. 


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