Planning for the New Year

marketing thread graphicThis time of year is the ideal time for creating next year’s marketing budget! A marketing budget outlines all the funds a business intends to spend on marketing-related projects over the upcoming quarter or year. Marketing budgets often include expenses to support online presence, advertising, assets, marketing staff, signage, events and more.

The Marketing Thread is a series of short videos released monthly discussing various marketing strategies. In this feature, Digital Content Producer Todd Schnick is joined by Senior Account Manager Courtney Stewart to discuss how to plan out your marketing budget for the new year.

How to Spend Money

In the new home building industry, it’s typical to plan for 1 to 1.5% of projected sales volume to be put aside for marketing efforts. While the basics of a marketing budget haven’t changed, there are new items to be included in your overall marketing budget in 2022!

Budgeting is like a GPS. Sometimes it throws curveballs at you, which means you should be ready for anything to happen! Early planning is the key to handling any speedbumps that may occur in the New Year.

The foundation of your marketing plan should be a combination of your online presence, branding and content. These three components are key to planning your business’s new marketing budget effectively.

Online Presence

No matter how well your business’ website functions, it’s likely to require updates throughout the year. Staying relevant and up-to-date costs money and is considered an ongoing expense. Plan for this to become a monthly part of the budget. Think of this upkeep process as you would maintaining a front yard. If you skip three weeks of yard work, it piles up and quickly becomes unmanageable.

It’s also important to keep your website’s SEO updated, as that is what brings in strong traffic. For best chances of success, this should be updated every quarter, if not monthly. If you’re planning to do a major update or rebuild of the website, then you should also anticipate allocating a larger part of the overall budget toward this pursuit.

Content Marketing

Creating a budget for content marketing largely depends on the particular needs and goals of the business. Content creation includes several marketing elements, from blogging to social media and public relations to email marketing. If your website doesn’t already include blogs, then adding that into your budget should be a priority. Blogging is a great way to connect with your audience, share updates on new communities and discuss popular topics such as trending interior designs. Plus, blogging is one of the easiest ways to improve a website’s SEO.


Advertising is important for any business no matter the industry. Determining how much of the budget is allocated toward this purpose depends on what a business needs to succeed. There are two different categories of advertising – digital and print. Each of these is highly proven to provide effective results for any business.

Digital advertising includes Google PPC, social ads, OTT (over-the-top) ads, radio and online publications/news outlets. Digital advertisements are worth the money for any business as they are nearly guaranteed to bring in new leads and promote growth. Although some may suggest otherwise, print advertising also remains a relevant avenue for promotion. Print advertisements include newspapers, magazines, direct mail and billboards. These tangible advertisements reach many different types of customers regardless of age.

Over the past year, budgets for both types of advertising have decreased due to the pandemic. However, we expect 2022 to bring significant changes in marketing strategies, and we strongly encourage businesses to increase their budget for advertising.


Assets, whether digital or printed, should always be included in a yearly budget. Digital assets include renderings, site maps, virtual tours or photography and videography. These assets are easier to retain or update and will likely need to be updated or created on an ongoing basis.

It’s no surprise that the pandemic has changed the ways of buying a house. People are now more likely to view a virtual floor plan than ever before. Keeping these online resources updated and available is crucial to gaining new business and increasing sales.

Printed assets should also be a top priority when developing your marketing budget. This includes brochures, printed floor plans, branded items such as bags, cups, pens, and so much more. These promotional items are great to offer when hosting events and can also be used in “swag bags.” It’s important to note that it may be necessary to increase this budget with consideration of higher shipping costs in the next year.

Realtor Outreach

Partnering with local Realtors is a great way to increase your business’ reach with potential clients. Budgeting for events, CE courses, gifts, meals, promotions and rewards programs is an excellent way to create strong relationships with Realtors. They can boost your business in many ways by helping your business facilitate new leads and grow sales.

Listing Services

As home builders, listing a house for sale is the best way to inform people of your availability. Having inventory homes is enough to necessitate budgeting for listing services. Utilizing Zillow, Trulia and other top-named listing sites are important for achieving increased sales and new leads. Using nationally-known sites makes it easier to attract local customers or gain the attention of new homebuyers moving to your area.


If you’re planning to open a new community next year or update signs in current communities, budgeting for community signage should be a top priority. Signage can be expensive depending on the quality you need and the sizing you choose. An appealing sign placed at the entrance of a new community could be an important factor that draws in new buyers and tempts them to venture inside to look around.

Sales Center

If your company still has an in-person sales center, then it’s essential to include this element in the marketing budget to ensure it stays updated and open for visitors. This may take up a larger portion of the budget, but it’s an important component you shouldn’t overlook.

Whether you’d like to update the sales center technology or renovate the interior to offer a more modern style, it’s vital to assess where potential improvements can be made to enhance visitors’ experiences. Determining the cost to incorporate into the budget all depends on the specific needs of your sales center. Some are even opting for a virtual sales center instead to provide easier access to buyers and lower maintenance costs. Either way, incorporating this piece into a yearly budget could offer your business an incredible payoff.


By now it’s well known that throughout the past year, in-person events were uncommon. However, we hope that 2022 offers a change of pace and a resurgence of in-person events. Planning a budget for potential in-person events should be on everyone’s lists. Events can include open houses, community events or VIP tours. Hosting an event is a great way to get new customers in the door.

Marketing Team

Whether you have an internal marketing team, utilize an agency or even both, creating a marketing budget for these costs is important. You get exactly what you pay for when it comes to marketing. Having a sufficient budget for a marketing team is important because it determines how much will be accomplished. If your business has an internal team, make sure the budget can accommodate a reasonable salary for these employees. If you choose an agency to handle your marketing, then it’s crucial to work with that team and discern what types of marketing practices work best for your business model.

Thinking Outside the Box

In the past year, the world has shifted when it comes to marketing styles and the top priorities of  consumers. The newest consumers in the homebuying industry are Millennials and Gen Z. These generations are the future audience of the new home industry, and it’s vital to consider their preferences that differ from older generations. This group typically prefers finding necessary information online, as opposed to making calls to receive answers. Updating all websites and social media to offer answers to frequently asked questions and other relevant information is a must in order to appeal to this audience. Making sure your website is mobile-friendly is also a priority to engage this age group as they spend more time browsing the web on their handheld devices.

Another new marketing element to consider is online magazines. These publications can be made up of blog-style pieces that are easy to read and include all relevant information. Incorporating 3D tours of all houses online is another update to begin incorporating into the marketing budget. As the pandemic remains prevalent, some people are not fully comfortable visiting public spaces. Adding virtual tours for all floor plans makes it easier for these individuals to see a space from the comfort of their homes. Many houses are currently being sold sight unseen, so it’s important to ensure the purchasing process is as seamless as possible by offering modern digital resources.

The future is closer than we think! Formatting every marketing element for online use is an important rising trend predicted to be essential over the next few years. Looking forward, we should expect to create online sales or even provide buyers with the opportunity to purchase a home entirely through virtual means.

Join Carol Morgan, Todd Schnick, Courtney Stewart and Mandy Holm for this free video series that guides home builders and related companies toward marketing success. The Marketing Thread is a can’t-miss new series that promises to boost any marketing strategy with effective tips.

View all videos from The Marketing Thread on the Denim YouTube Channel.

For more information on how to create a marketing budget for the new year, contact us online or call us at 770-383-3360.


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