Optimise your strategy by keeping track of your marketing budget

Caterina Janssens in

Seeing your ROI grow is amazing, but do you actually know all about the ‘I’ in ROI? We're talking about your marketing budget. How much did you invest? And does that match your strategy going forward? 

Optimise your strategy by keeping track of your marketing budget

That’s where a budget sheet comes in. A marketing budget sheet outlines the planned and actual expenses for marketing. It helps you to:


  • Prove a strategy to the board
  • Create clear planning and prioritisation 
  • Stay within budget
  • Make informed decisions based on data
  • Negotiate your budget
  • Provide accountability for how resources are used


Each type of marketing explained

Your budget sheet is categorised into three types of marketing: performance marketing, content marketing and PR. Let’s take a look at what marketing activities fall into each category, so you can get started filling in your budget sheet. 


Performance marketing

Performance marketing includes social media advertising, Google Ads, affiliate marketing and more.


Content marketing

Content marketing includes video marketing, keyword research, blogs, e-mail marketing, social media posts and more.



PR includes attending events, reaching out to experts and channels, collaborating with brands, organising events and more.


This is how you build your marketing budget sheet

Each type of marketing has its own marketing budget to account for. The budget can be divided into three parts: budget, actual and balance. Budget is the amount set aside for this strategy, actual is what you’ve spent, and balance shows whether you’re over or under budget with what you’ve spent. 


You’ll fill in each category every month to keep track of your spending. 

Once you’ve got the data lined up for the three different types of marketing, you can add up the columns to see what you’ve spent each month and whether it’s in line with your budget. 


You don’t have to go over the numbers each time you’re looking to optimise your strategy. You can create a visual representation of the money spent on each type of marketing.


How keeping track of budget affects the strategy

For instance: let’s say you’re Chief Marketing at a beer company founded six months ago. The main business goal is to get the brand name out there amongst their target audience. So your focus lies within the realms of PR. Great! 

But once you’ve finished your marketing budget sheet and created a visual representation, you see you’re more active (budget-wise) in content marketing rather than PR. You’ve been paying translators and creating video content. Your PR budget, however, is almost untouched.


Of course, you knew you were spending money on video content and translation. But the visual representation helps you conclude that your focus might need to be adjusted to focus on PR a little more. 


Combine a marketing budget sheet with performance data

Keep in mind that budget doesn’t necessarily say anything about the return on your investment. Spending a few thousand on PR and less on content marketing doesn’t mean your strategy is going to succeed. That’s why your performance data is essential to hold next to your budget sheet. 


Where did you get the most return for your investment regarding your marketing goals? How much did you spend on that? Where did you go over budget without enough return? Those questions will help you determine your strategy going forward. 


Keen to learn more?

Download our Digital Marketing Plan template

Contact the NedWorks team if you need digital talent or advice

About the author

Caterina is Marketing Manager at Sisu Group where she focuses on content strategy. 

Read more articles by Caterina.