Have you started planning your 2021 marketing budget? If not, now is the time to dive in! In the weeks and months following the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners and marketers alike were working with limited information, focusing on day-to-day operations and plans. As time goes by, we are understanding more of the potential long-term impacts this crisis may have and are continuing to adapt. Now is the time to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to investing in the future of your business. 

Through the uncertainty, we continue to see optimism about spending in 2021. As we set our sights on the year ahead, there is an opportunity to plan for flexibility in a way that will maximize your business’s impact in 2021, helping you grow, and make up for any lost revenue in 2020. How can we accomplish that? Take the following into consideration when planning for your 2021 marketing budget! 

Focus on ROI

To best understand your ROI, or, return on investment, you must invest in the tools to track outcomes, as well as the talent to manage it. In 2021, this will be more imperative than ever. Review your ROI with an expert to assess how you’re spending your budget and discover new opportunities to drive your bottom line. 

Measuring the impact of your marketing efforts in real-time is essential. It’s important for your business to invest in a team that can not only conceptualize your campaign but sees it through in its entirety while providing you with results. Creating an omnichannel marketing plan, moving you closer to your end goal, is the bar to strive for in 2021. 

Let’s face it: 2021 is unlikely to be a “set and forget” kind of year, and your annual plan will only be as successful as how willing your company is to pivot with the market. The quicker you are able to analyze and adjust the implementation of your plan, the more successful you’ll be when navigating any changes. 


  1. Create An Annual Plan: Work with your marketing team to create a tactical plan and define those high-level targets for budgets.

  2. Set Up Quarterly and Monthly Reviews: Determine what metrics you’ll use to analyze your success on a monthly and quarterly basis. Focus on indicators such as; website traffic, social media metrics, email list growth, etc. 

  3. Expedite Marketing Time: Planning large campaigns is still important, but smaller units will be able to get you recognized by your market sooner. Working with a multi-level team that communicates internally can help your brand get multiple deliverables working at once. Having an entire team focusing on your marketing efforts allows you to focus on other areas of your business. 

Invest in Your Brand for the Long Term

Short-term budget cuts can often have the unfortunate result of a long-term reduction in brand visibility and communications, which are critical to maintain during an economic downturn. As you plan for 2021, plan to maintain or ramp up communication from your brand to your audience. This will increase trust and keep you top of mind for customers and prospects as a critical resource. 


How to Invest for the Long Term

  1. Invest in Organic: Increase marketing that builds organic brand mentions, like SEO. This can help build your visibility across search and social media. 

  2. Don’t Slash Your Spend: Organic and paid tactics work best when both are running together. If you make big changes to your paid investment, expect an impact to your brand visibility. 

  3. Advantages of Digital Advertising: Avenues such as Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram Ads, email-marketing campaigns, and more can help you skyrocket your efforts in 2021. Promoting your brand online with digital advertising is an important way to reach the full extent of your audience.


So what is the most important thing to keep in mind when considering your 2021 budget? Plan to change your plans! During times of uncertainty, we’re faced with the unique challenge of needing to be flexible, but not short-sighted. 

Contact the experts at D3 who can help you understand how and when you should adjust your plan to equip yourself to make the maximum impact in 2021. You know where to find us…