There are more opportunities available today for your business to advertise than ever before. At the turn of this century, traditional advertising such as TV, radio, outdoor, and print dominated the advertising landscape. With the boom of the internet, mobile apps, and online streaming platforms, digital advertising has moved the forefront of accessibility for most businesses.
In this article, we cover when your business should advertise based on your actual sales curve. Creating a strategy based on your sales will ensure your advertising dollars are spent at the correct time during the year and eliminate the possibility of unforeseen marketing expenditures during your slower months.
First of all, you should have an annual budget based on your sales curve. What does that mean? If for instance, May, June, and July represent 45% of your annual sales, your advertising budget should reflect your sales curve and be implemented to support your sales peak(s). As a general rule, any month representing more than 10% of your annual sales should be considered a Peak Month.
Our customized spreadsheet (shown above) shows an example of a business with annual sales of $500,000, and an advertising budget of 10% of sales. Feel free to download this sheet and use it for your own business!
This spreadsheet example shows how an advertising budget should be allocated based on this annual sales curve. The advertising budget is allocated by month based on monthly sales.
This strategy takes planning. As a business owner (in this example), you know that sales, according to your sales curve, are going to peak in May and continue through July. That does not mean that you wait until May 1st to start thinking about advertising for May’s peak. Advertising for May should begin in April. Having your advertising budget in one organized place allows you to plan when to hit the airwaves (and the internet) with your advertising message.
You also should not ignore the slower months. If January only represents 5% of your annual sales, your advertising budget should reflect your sales and be reduced accordingly, but not totally discontinued. Having a smaller budget in leaner months means being creative with your advertising spend.
In the spreadsheet example, October through February are slower compared to other months of the year. These are months where you might use Google’s cost-per-click ads or social media ads to generate sales. The goal is to keep your business in front of people during a slower time.
If you do not have an annual budget, we highly recommend you create one. The first thing to do is to analyze your sales on a monthly basis. If you regularly spend money on advertising, see how much you’ve spent during the previous year, and plot it out on a spreadsheet similar to the one we’ve provided. Your findings may surprise you.
Spending more money in the lean months because business is slow doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in your sales. Likewise, spending less in peak months might mean you are missing business you should be winning.
Advertising is more of an art than a science. However, using a basic advertising strategy based on your sales curve is a great way to plan and implement a successful annual advertising plan.
Lawrence Media Group is a family-owned and operated advertising agency located in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Our team has more than 35 years of experience in the fields of advertising and marketing. We specialize in traditional and online advertising as well as websites, social media management, and graphic design. Learn more about our services.