Your marketing budget is affected by the amount of deals that you do each year. Many agents believe marketing is experimentation, which is not entirely correct. Marketing is growing your client base through consistency and value. Marketing is improving your image and legitimizing your brand.
A Free Marketing Tip: Set up a Neighborhood Search for your homeowners, which will not cost you a dime.
Your contacts will consistently receive listing updates in their neighborhood and see the value in what you have to offer. That consistency will create referrals for you. The automation will maintain your new and improved image. You will brand yourself as the agent that knows the market and can sell their home. You will become more valuable to your entire database. That is marketing.
In 2014- do not experiment with your money. Focus on the contacts that you have and grow your database by generating better relationships and referrals. Referrals are a by-product of how good you are and the willingness of your clients to generate FREE business for you.