How to Allocate Marketing Budgets in a Changing Retail Landscape

Marketing seems more complex than ever before. Effective marketers need to be able to allocate their budgets effectively in an ever-changing landscape.

Retailers are often uncertain about what their approach should be and how they should spend their money. They sometimes view online marketing as free and fail to allocate any money for it.

Both online and traditional forms of marketing need to be fully funded to be effective. Embracing both forms of marketing is the only way that companies can make sure they end up reaching the widest audience possible.

The Vitality of Online Marketing

Online marketing needs make up the majority of any marketing budget. The vast majority of companies today are attempting to appeal to young and middle-aged people as a customer base.

These individuals make most of their purchases through the Internet. Online marketing appeals to these individuals and reaches them whenever they shop.

In addition, online marketing can be easy to allocate a budget for. An accountant and a manager could allocate certain budgets to both websites and employees.

Employee labor is the only expense for a large number of online advertisements because many of these advertisements are free. For advertisements that cost money, most allocations can be set aside for specific websites and strategies, such as boosting, advertising, or website creation/domain purchases.

A Traditional Media Strategy

Online marketing can be pivotal for the success of a company. But a possibly more important factor than online marketing is a combined strategy utilizing both online and traditional media.

Millions of Americans still make purchasing decisions based on advertisements they see on television or hear over the radio. These media formats are controlled by gatekeepers.

Gatekeepers ensure that there are fewer companies advertising in a retail space. While there are no barriers in online advertising, this open approach means that there is more competition for each potential customer.

On the other hand, traditional media strategies allow for fewer companies to spend more money and take up more of the attention of individual users. Marketing dollars may sometimes be more efficiently spent in these situations.

What to do

Any retail company allocating marketing budgets today needs to first focus on labor and talent.

First, companies need to dedicate a significant portion of discretionary income towards marketing. Then, they need to spend a considerable amount of money bringing in a marketing specialist or a social media expert. The company next needs to provide adequate funding to each form of marketing based on the general audience of a product.

A company like Universal Manufacturing Corp may spend money in different places when compared to a retail store focusing on teen fashion.

Finally, companies need to allocate their social media budgets based on different websites and demographics. They may need to spend a certain amount of money on LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook in order to properly reach their targeted customer base.

So how do companies find out which mix of advertising is best for them?

Building the Perfect Customer

Research must be done into the primary audience. A small business selling eBooks online needs to get to know their readers. Who typically buys their books?

Companies must build up the image of the perfect customer. The larger the sample size the better. Where are they located? Which age group do they fall into? What are their other interests? What are the specific characteristics of the product that convince people to buy?

These are questions companies in every sector must answer. They are universal questions.

And what many guides fail to tell business owners is this is not just a process performed when a company is finding its feet.

It’s a process that’s constantly ongoing. Over time, customer habits and tastes change. Over time, the results become more accurate because the sample size grows bigger with every sale and every customer interaction.

The model of the perfect customer becomes the blueprint for every traditional and online marketing campaign.

It also determines where budgets should be allocated.


The world of marketing may seem like a terrifying place in the 21st century. Many marketers are entirely focused on either online or traditional approaches. They do not know how to vary and combine these approaches through their budget allocation.

But with enough effort and research, American accountants and managers can find the right budget allocation strategies to ensure maximum exposure for their companies.

Douglas Pitassi
Douglas Pitassi
Douglas Pitassi is a small business blogger and freelance writer.


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