Repeat or Refresh? – Tips on How To Approach Your 2015 Marketing Budget Strategy

The beginning of a new year signals a clean slate opportunity for your marketing game plan. It’s a chance to reflect how progress has been thus far and determine if the status quo should repeat, reprogram or altogether refresh itself. Carpe annum. Seize the year! Before you charge towards those ambitious 12 month goals though, we’ve listed several key points to serve as a resource when creating your 2015 marketing budget.

What are my goals?

The first thing to do is outline your marketing objectives or key performance indicators (KPIs). This should range anywhere from 3 to 10 goals, such as: increase purchase frequency, encourage first-time customers to try a new product, increase average check or generate awareness. Once you have completed this extensive list, narrow down which top three are your priorities for 2015. It’s important to focus on a smaller amount of attainable goals versus covering everything as your resources will spread too thin and your marketing efforts too disparate to produce any real effect. Remember, these key objectives should be measurable goals.

How much do I spend on marketing?

With your KPIs finalized, this should make it easier to determine how much your total marketing budget will be since you can weigh the importance of achieving those objectives relative to other budget items. Typically, marketing expenditures should be anywhere between 2-10 percent of sales. When you’re a company with larger revenue, you’ll spend less on marketing than compared to a smaller revenue company. It’s advised that a company with less than $5 million in revenue should allocate 7-8 percent of sales to marketing while those with more than $300 million should spend 3-4 percent. After completing your budget, revisit your objectives and allocate based on priority. Avoid setting aside the entire budget on one KPI or across one program, and make sure to allocate an untouched discretionary amount in case of emergencies.

Where do I allocate the budget? 

Now that you’ve decided on the ‘what’ and ‘how much,’ it’s time to decide where to spend the money. A good way to allocate is the 70/20/10 rule:

  • 70% spend on previously successful programs
  • 20% spend on last year’s experimental budget
  • 10% spend on experimental marketing (new channels or opportunities)

Utilizing this method allows you to trial multiple new channels or opportunities, while still relying heavily on proven methods. Now that you have everything planned out on paper, it’s time to decide on how to execute your marketing campaigns and determine how to measure success.

How do I execute a campaign and measure ROI?

Source: Dilbert

Source: Dilbert

A Spendgo-powered marketing program means you will be able to monitor, iterate and achieve your KPIs while increasing ROI through extensive data and measurable results. Let’s say your KPIs this year are to increase average check and adoption rates, and achieve over 85% reward redemption in-store. Spendgo collects baseline data from store locations, which your dedicated Success Manager will leverage to improve and increase your numbers. Spendgo can help you set up a customized campaign to promote new menu items and generate awareness during the run at every desired touch point. Our Campaign Analytics report gathers data before, during and after the campaign; and shows campaign adoption by members and non-members. Our line-item metrics can be broken down by individual store or franchise group on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis giving you a direct line of sight into your business.

Is your POS holding you back? 

Don’t feel daunted, you’re not alone. According to Hospitality Technology‘s 2015 POS Software Trend Report, the majority of POS purchasing activity among restaurant operators will be for upgrades to existing POS software with the intent to add new functionality, features and/or modules (67%). Some of the functionalities most in demand were the addition of a loyalty tool (57%) while integration with other systems (47%) and cloud-based POS (35%) were ranked close behind. Spendgo’s flexibility meets with proficiency across all those requested functions and not only reaches, but helps surpass your marketing KPI goals. Spendgo can be tapped as a new turnkey loyalty platform for a first-time marketer or, just as easily, be used as an upgrade to a hospitality operator’s existing POS software. Think of us as an all-around partner. We can cover you either way.

If you want more tips, have questions on our platform or just need a hug, we’re here for you. Drop us a line at Now go kick the doors down 2015 and make us proud.