Thursday, 18 July 2013

Advertising Budget

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.

BUDGETING METHODS

There are several allocation methods used in developing a budget. The most common are listed below:
  • Percentage of Sales method
  • Objective and Task method
  • Competitive Parity method
  • Market Share method
  • Unit Sales method
  • All Available Funds method
  • 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.

Objective and Task Method

Because of the importance of objectives in business, the task and objective method is considered by many to make the most sense and is therefore used by most large businesses. The benefit of this method is that it allows the advertiser to correlate advertising expenditures with overall marketing objectives. This correlation is important because it keeps spending focused on primary business goals.
With this method, a business needs to first establish concrete marketing objectives, often articulated in the "selling proposal," and then develop complementary advertising objectives articulated in the "positioning statement." After these objectives have been established, the advertiser determines how much it will cost to meet them. Of course, fiscal realities need to be figured into this methodology as well. Some objectives (expansion of area market share by 15 percent within a year, for instance) may only be reachable through advertising expenditures beyond the capacity of a small business. In such cases, small business owners must scale down their objectives so that they reflect the financial situation under which they are operating.

Competitive Parity Method

While keeping one's own objectives in mind, it is often useful for a business to compare its advertising spending with that of its competitors. The theory here is that if a business is aware of how much its competitors are spending to advertise their products and services, the business may wish to budget a similar amount on its own advertising by way of staying competitive. Doing as one's competitor does is not, of course, always the wisest course. And matching another's advertising budget dollar for dollar does not necessarily buy one the same marketing outcome. Much depends on how that money is spent. However, gauging one's advertising budget on other participants' in the same market is a reasonable starting point.

Market Share Method

Similar to competitive parity, the market share method bases its budgeting strategy on external market trends. With this method a business equates its market share with its advertising expenditures. Critics of this method contend that companies that use market share numbers to arrive at an advertising budget are ultimately predicating their advertising on an arbitrary guideline that does not adequately reflect future goals.

Unit Sales Method

This method takes the cost of advertising an individual item and multiplies it by the number of units the business wishes to sell. This method is only effective, of course, when the cost of advertising a single unit can be reasonably determined.

All Available Funds Method

This aggressive method involves the allocation of all available profits to advertising purposes. This can be risky for a business of any size it means that no money is being used to help the business grow in other ways (purchasing new technologies, expanding the work force, etc.). Yet this aggressive approach is sometimes useful when a start-up business is trying to increase consumer awareness of its products or services. However, a business using this approach needs to make sure that its advertising strategy is an effective one and that funds which could help the business expand are not being wasted.

Affordable Method

With this method, advertisers base their budgets on what they can afford. Of course, arriving at a conclusion about what a small business can afford in the realm of advertising is often a difficult task, one that needs to incorporate overall objectives and goals, competition, presence in the market, unit sales, sales trends, operating costs, and other factors.

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