Marketing is a cardinal component of any business or startup. When you look at most of the action online, it is all about marketing. The big social media platforms you use daily. If you look closely, you will realize most of the activity is centred on marketing. Marketing constitutes one of the standard business models for many businesses. At the same time, marketing is at the heart of what produces leads. Marketing is a source and driver for all business models. Since it is inevitable in business that you must conduct marketing, what must your marketing budget be like? Today let us break down an exciting marketing budget split approach.

Why A Marketing Budget Split?

This approach is borne out of realizing that times have changed. Several years back, marketing was exclusively devoid of digital marketing. There was a time when there were no social media platforms. Marketing used to be done using print and electronic media. Electronic media then was mostly television and radio, amongst others. Today we refer to marketing approaches of that era as traditional marketing. Ever since the advent of social media, marketing has evolved.

We now have digital marketing, which revolves around the internet and social media. Thus we have two marketing options, traditional marketing and digital marketing. Remember that traditional marketing is not obsolete; it is still relevant today. This means as a business; you must do both. This implies you must split your marketing budget to cater to traditional and digital marketing.

In-Store Sales Still Rule BUT Online Sales Are Growing Significantly  

Before we get to the heart of our discussion today, you must appreciate this. Do not make the mistake of thinking that traditional marketing no longer matters. Especially here in Zimbabwe, online sales are still in their infancy. This tells you that the majority of people still purchase in-store. It is also the fact that most Zimbabweans are not actively on the internet and social media.

This is a dynamic peculiar to Zimbabwe that you must not ignore. Regardless, it does somewhat align with the general dynamics in Southern Africa. In 2022, more than 80 percent of regional sales were realized in-store. Yet online sales surged by over 25 percent (compared to 9 percent for in-store sales). This shows you that online sales (and thus digital marketing) are the future. However, in-store sales (and thus traditional marketing) still matter immensely.

60-40 Marketing Budget Split – A Winning Approach

You could have been wondering how much of your marketing budget you should dedicate to either. Your answer is here as we discuss the 60-40 marketing budget split ratio. This has been found to be instrumental in generating leads for businesses. By 60-40, we are saying 60 percent of your marketing budget must go to digital marketing. Then 40 percent must go to traditional marketing. Research conducted by Google backs this marketing budget split. That is why you can bank on this because it is well-informed. Their research discovered that digital marketing is pivotal in pushing online and in-store sales. Yet, at the same time, it showed that traditional marketing still pushes both.

Variations To The 60-40 Marketing Budget Split

Consider the Zimbabwean context. The vast majority of people are not active online. This is due to a number of factors, some of which are power cuts and data costs. These issues also feed into why eCommerce is taking too long to become mainstream in Zimbabwe. Sometime in 2019, I did an article on why eCommerce is not taking off in Zimbabwe. In 2021 I did another one titled eCommerce is not popping in Zimbabwe. I discussed the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Business to Customer (B2C) E-commerce Index in that article.

Notably, Zimbabwe scored zero on Universal Postal Union (UPU) reliability. Meaning eCommerce is still struggling in Zimbabwe because of poor delivery mechanisms. Why all these details? It is to show you that the context in which a business operates can necessitate a variation in the split ratio. You can use the 50-70-30-50 ratio; this is a general guide. What it means is you must spend anything from 50 to 70 percent on digital marketing. Then you spend anything from 30 to 50 percent on traditional marketing. What you settle for should be informed by the context your business operates.

For starters, it would be wise to start with the 60-40 ratio. Use that as a foundation and start conducting A/B testing from there. Over time you will notice adjustments you need to make in your ratio. It is not cast in stone that the digital marketing share in the ratio should always be greater than the traditional marketing share. It can be the other way around. It all goes down to being empirical in the business decisions you make. The bottom line, regardless of context, is that your marketing strategies should be omnichannel.