Budgeting Your Advertising Compaign

The most important step in preparing an advertising campaign is to organize an annual budget for it. Most industry companies that even attempt to make a budget address this activity by allocating ”arbitrary appropriations” or “affordable funds.”‘ The former refers to pulling a dollar figure from the air and the latter is a haphazard guess at what a company can spend without any reference to what’s really needed in terms of setting or meeting objectives.

advertising3A profile of the standard advertising program done today by the average apparel graphics company has, at best, only three components and none is part of any annualized budgeting process:

1.) Internet advertising in a variety of methodologies. But in most apparel graphics companies it’s done on the cheap and with little serious forethought.

2.) Telephone directory advertising. This medium is in rapid decline and has been largely supplanted by the web component of directory advertising.

3.) Something else done every so often, on an adhoc agenda and on a “Well, let’s-give-this-a-try too” basis.

The typical advertising profile of industry firms would further reveal there is no overall strategy nor an overall budget, and whatever is actually done isn’t executed with any regard for positioning the company. What’s worse, the adhoc nature of how a typical apparel graphics company handles its advertising exhibits virtually no thematic, consistent approach over time. Every ad seems unconnected to what ran before. And when the company’s “campaign” fails, the advertiser is quick to blame the failure either on the medium, the rep, or the idiots who didn’t respond.

“Competitive Parity” Approach

Another budgeting approach that many companies follow is the “competitive parity” approach. Simply put, it means if the other guy does it, you should, too. If he puts in a bigger ad, you must, too. The outcome of this method is that unless the two companies have identical marketing agendas, copycat tactics won’t -and don’t — work for the follower. Who’s to say the first guy’s concepts are all that well thought out to begin with?

What’s effective and realistic in determining a budget is to tie your advertising dollars to total sales revenue for custom decorated products.