Free Marketing Budget Templates for Effective Planning (Excel)

Marketing Budget Template

Marketing is a vital piece of the puzzle for any business. A marketing budget template helps you create a marketing plan which can focus on activities that drive revenue, increase brand awareness, and increase online sales. In addition, a careful production of the budget can help identify where your money goes to make educated decisions on what needs improvement. Large and small businesses have increased their marketing budgets over the last few years.

Increasingly, these businesses realize that they can’t rely on paying hefty prices to win over customers with traditional advertising while neglecting their online strategies. Whether you’ve ever or never created a marketing budget, this article is perfect for you! It will walk you through creating a marketing budget template that outlines all aspects of your advertising and partnership expenses to support your company’s goals.

Pre-budgeting Considerations

Creating an efficient marketing budget is ordinarily a daunting and intimidating task. However, to smoothen the process, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before you create your marketing budget template.

  1. Specify your marketing goals: A marketing budget means a specified destination, which comprises your marketing goals. It is therefore advisable to always define this destination before anything else. Establish what you intend to achieve by asking what percentage of sales increase you wish to gain? How many leads do you want to generate? What are your revenue goals? Be specific when defining marketing goals and align your budget to these goals.
  2. Identify the annual marketing budget: Remember, a marketing budget is part of a larger budget – the annual budget. Therefore, each business will have an annual marketing budget as well. You can either go for an aggressive approach and increase your budget by 50% or a conservative approach and aim for 20%. Consider using whatever percentage seems appropriate for your business at the moment. The decision is influenced by several factors such as your goals, how frequently you will be advertising, etc.
  3. Define business strategy and marketing plan: Before creating a marketing budget template, a proper business strategy and marketing plan should be made. The strategy should aim to achieve overall business objectives, while the marketing plan should aim at the marketing goals established earlier. In addition, the marketing strategy should define the target customers, competition, brand, product positioning, and growth opportunities.
  4. Determine current marketing expenses/operational costs: Before initiating the marketing budget, you should identify the current expenditure of the marketing department. Determine how much money was previously directed towards different marketing strategies. Marketing expenses include digital and traditional ads, external specialists such as web developers, professional fees, brand ambassadors fees, etc.
  5. Measure the effectiveness of your expenses: Evaluate the effectiveness or ROI (return on investment) of this spending. Key performance indicators can be used for this exercise. This way, you can determine whether new strategies and solutions are needed so that money can be redirected to avenues that produce positive results in revenue, customer loyalty, brand awareness, etc. 

Categories to Consider in a Marketing Budget Template

A reasonable marketing budget should reflect the specific needs of the business and industry and capture all the anticipated marketing expenses of a business. As a result, expect marketing budget templates to vary in complexity depending on the type of business, size, and industry.

That aside, most marketing budget templates will contain the following categories:  

Paid advertising

The significant type of advertising used by businesses is paid to advertise. This can be done through different media types, including offline print, radio, television, direct mail, and online platforms such as search, PPC, and lead generation. The most common online platforms included in these templates for website and social media marketing activities include Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Instagram Promoted Posts, Pinterest Pins Promoted Posts, and Twitter Ads. Under this category, the template should capture fees incurred for design, messaging, testing, promotions, ad placement, etc.

Branding and creative

Branding and creativity are known to supplement paid advertising and generate traffic on their own. This category is meant to capture expenses incurred on designing brand assets such as logos, print materials, packaging, etc. In addition, good branding will often involve creative ideas that ensure the target customers are drawn to the business’s products and services. Other expenses covered in this section include the cost of software, hardware, freelancers’ wages, and IT systems.


A section in the marketing budget template should be provided to capture expenses associated with the development and maintenance of the business website. This is the most critical aspect of any marketing campaign as it serves as a means of capturing, retaining, and developing customers. It also acts as an information repository for customers, colleagues, and prospective clients to gain insight into the business. A correct website plays a vital role in attracting new customers and should be given importance by businesses. Expenses incurred on creating a website, web design, linking websites together, web hosting service fees, and maintenance are all included here.

Content marketing

Content marketing is a more modern technology in business marketing. It involves creating valuable content for the target audience and distributing it through different media platforms such as blogs, videos, infographics, photos, and social media. Content marketing is a great way to attract more of your target audience because most people trust other people rather than brands or businesses. The cost of producing content, promoting it to audiences, and distributing it through relevant channels can be captured under this category. Content marketing has been proven to be quite effective, and if correctly done, it can be very beneficial to a business.

Public relations

Public relations is still an essential component of any business’s marketing strategy. This category captures expenses for developing public relations events and activities such as sponsoring a charity event. It also covers fees paid to PR agencies and writers, promotional agents, media kits, award fees, research/contact services, etc. In addition, public relations play a vital role in developing brand awareness and reputation and reputation management. Negative brand perception can impact a business’s sales and revenues; therefore, including it in the marketing budget template ensures that a company can identify PR-related issues beforehand and address them accordingly.

Product marketing

Your marketing budget template should incorporate product marketing costs. Product marketing involves expenses associated with creating and developing products for the target audience. The type of products and their price are captured in this category. Expenses on advertising, product research, packaging design, competitive analysis, launch events, user testing, promotion, and market research.


Events offer an excellent way to attract new customers, retain existing ones, or introduce products. In addition, existing customers will keep returning to the business if the business is hosting events that appeal to them. Marketing events can be hosted in different ways, including trade shows, conferences, town meetings, coupon campaigns, etc. The cost of developing content for these events and promoting and coordinating relevant activities can also be considered. Expenses incurred on organizing events include the cost of the event venue or meeting space, technical equipment hire, food, drinks, speaker fees, and promotional marketing materials. Any additional fees can be included in the section of the marketing budget template.


 The last category on the template for creating a marketing budget should cover personnel expenses incurred by the marketing team and staff. These costs can include expenses covering employee performance reviews, bonuses, travel, entertainment, computer maintenance, and depreciation.

Marketing Budget Templates

Developing budgets for marketing campaigns can be frustrating and time-consuming. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider using templates when developing a marketing budget. This website has provided professionally developed templates for the readers to assist with the process. The provided marketing budget templates are easy to use and contain most of the expenses incurred in a marketing budget. Any additional expenses can be easily added or deleted to ensure that the marketing budget is customized to align with the marketing budget plan. In addition, the templates are free to use.

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    Smart Budgeting Tips

    A budget that effectively meets the business’s marketing needs can be time-consuming and stressful. All the same, it is worth the time. Below are several tips you can adopt to ensure the budget template fulfills its intended purpose:

    • Assign budget amount to each category: Assigning a specific budget amount to each category in the marketing budget template will also help avoid overspending and over-budgeting. The amount allocated to each category will depend on the objectives of your marketing strategy and what you want to prioritize.
    • Set a budget according to the business goals: The success of your marketing campaign will also depend on how well it aligns with the business’ goals. This is why it is essential to set realistic goals that can be easily achieved so that you do not get stressed out trying to achieve a too high goal. In addition, the marketing budget template amounts should reflect the same; otherwise, creating the budget could prove rather difficult and stressful.
    • Treat marketing as an investment: While it is easy to consider marketing as a cost, the contrary is true. Marketing is an investment and resource that will pay off in the long run. It is therefore essential to treat it as such. Be intentional when allocating money for marketing and setting goals for marketing strategies.
    • Consider growth stage: Every business/company goes through different stages of growth, and these should be considered when allocating funds for marketing. When the business is just starting, it is essential to allocate more marketing funds to establish the brand and market its products. On the other hand, established businesses should consider re-allocating funds from marketing to other areas such as research and development (R&D) or production so that they can continue growing while improving their existing products or services.
    • Understand current and future trends: Take time to research and understand the current trends in your industry and the upcoming trends. This will help you develop marketing strategies to retain existing customers and attract new ones. Finally, support the marketing plan with the data. It is important to provide supporting facts, figures, and data for all the expenditures to make the marketing budget template effective. This helps attract more investors and, if used correctly, can also boost your revenues in the future.
    • Look at the big picture: Market budgeting can help you have an overall picture of which stage your business depends on. This is because marketing needs vary from one business phase to another. The marketing budget of a start-up business will be different from that of a running business. Consequently, this information can be used to make other important business decisions. That is why it is essential to look at the big picture. 
    • Scope out the competition: You should look at your competitors’ marketing strategies and see how well they perform in the market. You can use this information to determine where you need to improve and what strategy works best for your business. This will also help determine which areas should be improved for better marketing results in the future.
    • Prioritize inexpensive marketing: This does not imply that you should have a low marketing budget. It just means that you should prioritize marketing tactics that are cost-effective and efficient in reaching your target audience. It is also helpful if your marketing strategy is objective. Ambiguous strategies can result in expensive budgets with a low ROI – Return on Investment.


    The solution to effective marketing is creating a marketing budget that aligns with the business’ goals and objectives. You can achieve this by utilizing a marketing budget template. However, remember that it is not enough to create one; it is also essential to track your expenses as you implement your marketing strategies. Also, consider your competitors’ strategies and how they are reaching their target audience. Finally, you can personalize your templates to ensure it satisfies your needs. As much as creating the budget is intimidating, working without it can be detrimental to your marketing campaigns.