How to plan your first marketing budget?

Great question. It’s actually amazing how cheap things can be in the first month when you do things right. Infrastructure with simple tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot and Woodpecker are very cheap, and I’m not a fan of digital agencies before you get your messaging, positioning etc. right. (first you need to do work like this).

You need some great writing capacity, and ideally this is an employee, or a free lancer who you build a longer term relation with. You also need some budget to get the initial marketing automation setup by an expert (for example setup Hubspot fast, and train your team).

The main campaigns to do early are for prospect nurturing, customer up-sell/nurture, and loyalty/on-boarding. After setting these up you will not need a lot of deep expertise in this area in the first year.

In the first months of having your marketing team, I suggest you budget $5k-$10k/month and have your team focus on fundamentals like the 4 p’s, branding, customer testimonials, and getting your infrastructure setup.

After that it becomes an option to throw fuel on the fire (SEM, PR, sponsorships, events etc.) but this would be a waste of money unless your landing pages, analytics etc. are in place.

Ideally your team is at least 1-2 FTE before you start spending any serious money, or get help from agencies. You don’t want to fall in the trap of outsourcing things you don’t master, and cannot manage. Here are some thoughts on the initial skills/focus areas: