I wrote an article for Professional Marketing magazine on this topic in May 2004 – please email me and I’ll send you a copy or visit the article bank at www.pmint.co.uk. However, depending on the nature of your firm (size, structure, markets served etc) it may be necessary to produce marketing budgets at a number of different levels as the diagram below shows.

Marketing Plans and Budgets


A critical issue often missed in professional services firms is that whilst cash investment (anything from 2-5% of gross fee income) might be invested in what we typically consider to be marketing activities, the biggest investment is in terms of opportunity cost of all the fee-earners involved in day-to-day and key marketing, selling and client development activities.

Some of the other critical issues raised in the article are:

  • Using the ‘objective and task’ method to set budgets
  • Firms involved in consumer markets (e.g. personal injury, family law) will have higher cash budgets than those in business-to-business markets (e.g. corporate finance, employment/human resources etc) where the fee-earner time costs are higher
  • Separating ongoing committed spend from capital expenditure items
  • Planning expenditure on the basis of campaigns and for specific markets and services rather than at a central level
  • Balancing in-house marketing staff costs vs outsourced marketing specialist costs
  • Managing the time of those fee-earners involved in marketing, selling and client development activities


I do not restrict access to the FAQs but I politely request that you let me know by email and acknowledge the source (www.kimtasso.com) if you wish to use the material anywhere.

As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful.