This week’s Ask Friday! question comes to us from Jennifer Herendeen, the Marketing Manager for Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton.  She asks "What are typical items included in a marketing/business development budget? I’m trying to create a first ever budget at my firm."

I think this is a question that a lot of marketers will face at some point in their careers. Since I’ve never worked in-house, I asked Jennifer Smuts, the Director of Marketing at the ILN’s Delaware firm, Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz for her thoughts.

Jenn says:

Depending on your law firm, Marketing and Business Development budgets vary. How is your department structured? What is Marketing & Business Development responsible for? For instance some budgets include staff salaries, firm retreats and professional training. As you can imagine, these specific items fluctuate and create a top-heavy affect. In general, mid-sized law firms tend to exclude these items and core budget categories include; Advertising, Business Development (new client development), Charitable, Client Development, Conferences, Consultants, Directories, Photography, Printing, Professional Memberships, Sponsorships, Promotional Products, Web (Interactive) and CRM/ Database.

The budget is a blessing, not a burden. Use it to prioritize key projects. Allow it to keep you accountable. Your successes will may even afford you a larger budget next year!"

Jenn, thanks for your excellent comments and good luck to Jennifer at Wyrick!