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Sooooo…What’s Your Budget?

Posted on April 4, 2019 by Christopher Rhines

Growing up, you may have been taught that it’s not polite to talk about money. In many situations, this rings true, but sometimes, having a discussion about pricing is absolutely necessary. When we have an initial conversation with a new prospective client, we almost always ask the following question:

What is your budget?

Is that a rude question to ask? Nope. Is it a direct question? Sure. Asking the question, “What is your budget?” is essential, and it enables us to figure out how much bang we can get out of your buck.

Websites come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and there is an almost infinite number of ways that ongoing digital marketing services can be molded to fit a specific budget.

The completely fictional restaurants, in the following examples, have similar digital marketing needs, yet they have contrasting digital marketing budgets:

Example #1: Ma ‘n Pa’s Neighborhood Pizza Joint

Ma and Pa have a very small, but successful Italian eatery located in a city neighborhood. It’s that place that has just always been there since you were a kid. Ma and Pa have come to the conclusion that they need a new website, and they know they need someone to manage their social media presence. However, they have a very limited budget.

Based on our experience building websites, and knowing what Ma and Pa’s budget is, we determine that we can build them a very simple, but still effective, single-page website. The website might not have all the “bells and whistles” that a more robust site might offer, but it does have all the essential information that a customer will be in search of: address, hours, menu, photos of delicious food, and a few positive customer reviews.

Ma and Pa need help with social media as well. There are many social media platforms and strategies (organic vs. paid) to choose from, but we’ll need to keep things simple. We determine that, given Ma and Pa’s budget, we are only able to create a few organic Facebook page posts per week. This enables the client to, at the very least, still dip their toes into the world of social media marketing.

Example #2: Trendy McTrenderson’s Flatbread Fusion Co.

Trendy runs a brand new high-end flatbread bistro located in a popular, in-vogue part of town. This is the type of restaurant that, while still very new, already has a line out the door on any given evening. Trendy had previously been busy launching his new business, but he knows he needs to shift gears to focus on his restaurant’s website and digital marketing initiatives. Money is not an issue, as his business has been funded by angel investors.

Knowing that the sky is the limit, but being respectful to not take advantage of this client’s seemingly unlimited budget, we determine that Trendy’s website can span several pages and feature some “bells and whistles” that we were not able to offer Ma and Pa. Trendy’s website will include an extensive photo gallery, dynamic menus that are easily editable by the client, online ordering and reservations, and an online store that is integrated with the client’s Stripe account.

Not only does Trendy need help with social media marketing, but he is also interested in email marketing, search engine marketing, and an overarching content marketing strategy. In contrast to Ma and Pa’s limited Facebook page posts, Trendy’s social media marketing activities will span multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube) and will also include highly-targeted paid Facebook ads. Semi-monthly email “blasts” will be created and scheduled, and search engine marketing will be managed using the Google Ads platform.

At an altitude of 30,000 feet, these two examples are similar: Both clients own and operate a local restaurant, and both are in need of a new website and ongoing digital marketing services. But taking a closer look, the obvious difference between these two businesses is simply the number of dollars that each has at their disposal.

Asking the question, “What is your budget?” isn’t rude… It simply helps us develop a digital marketing strategy and implementation plan, taking into account a budget that is comfortable for the client.

Sooooo…what’s your budget?

About the author:

Christopher Rhines

Partner, Director of Development

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Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.