How to Easily Create a Hotel Marketing Budget

April 9, 2009 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Although you may be required to write a marketing budget for a boss, a bank or even because you think “you have to do it”, the smart, truly professional hospitality marketer will embrace the marketing budget process.

The real reason you’re doing a marketing budget is the same reason why you create a budget for your personal life. You want to allocate what you will spend money on, and know what your limits are. By taking the time to do this in advance, you’ll reap huge rewards once you start using your marketing budget.

The most useful type of hotel marketing budget is a combination of a historical based budget and the zero based budget process. By reviewing the trends of expenses in the past (borrowed from the historical method) and looking at each expense anew (from the Zero Based Budget), you’ll be able to get the most accurate numbers for your budget.

Although you may be required to write a marketing budget for a boss, a bank or even because you think “you have to do it”, the smart, truly professional hospitality marketer will embrace the marketing budget process. The real reason you’re doing a marketing budget is the same reason why you would create a budget for your personal life. You want to allocate what you will spend money on, and know what your limits are. By taking the time to do this in advance, you’ll reap huge rewards once you start using your marketing budget.

The most useful type of hotel marketing budget is a combination of a historical based budget and the zero based budget process. By reviewing the trends of expenses in the past (borrowed from the historical method) and looking at each expense anew (from the Zero Based Budget), you’ll be able to get the most accurate numbers for your budget.

Budgets can be done yearly, but quarterly budgets give you greater flexibility to make fast changes if a strategy isn’t working out for you. For those who fear commitment, a quarterly budget allows you to decide on strategy for only 90 days then decide if it’s a strategy you want to continue with. Once you’ve completed this combination method, run each line item as a % of sales against total revenue. When your revenue numbers fluctuate, “this % of ” will allow you to level the playing field for fast comparison.

And for pity’s sake- use the budget! Once created, your budget should be reviewed on a weekly or at the most-monthly basis. Check your budget before you make purchases or approve an invoice. All those invoices will get coded back to your department, and eventually you’ll have to answer for them.

When creating the actual budget, start with pen and paper, review your marketing plan and list any task that will cost any money. Don’t worry about the details or the order right now, just list the different tactics you’ll be using. From then, working across a tablet and listing the 3 months you are budgeting for, begin filling in the dollar amounts of what you want to spend.

Mediocre (or even under performing) hospitality professionals will never view their marketing budget as the return on investment tool it should be. And those same average professionals will probably never advance to their full potential. But managers who “get it”, that understand that the marketing money they are entrusted with is nothing more than seed money. This seed money needs to be planted and then return on this investment in the form of revenues (the return on the investment). At the very least, every tactic on your marketing plan should break even. It’s appalling how many marketing professionals spend money on strategies that don’t cover its costs.

But no more excuses! Follow the guides in this eBook, http://thomfinn-ebooks.com/default.aspx read the insiders tips, and complete the assignments and you’ll soon master your marketing budgets for quarters and years to come!

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