VIA Idea #8: “You Have to Spend Money to Make Money”

14 Apr

I heard my father say this when I was six or seven; it puzzled me for days then but makes perfect sense now. Including the right number in your business’s budget for marketing communications is just as important now as ever.

Clients often ask me “How much should I spend on marketing?” There’s no one-size-fits-all. Do you offer a niche product with a loyal following? Are you one of three pizza restaurants on your block? Is your market local, national or worldwide? The figures below are ballpark numbers but give an idea of what your competitors may be spending.

When arriving at the dollar amount, take into consideration how you’ll spend the funds:

  • Developing and/or refining your brand and deciding how to best promote it (these include logos, websites, brochures, sales presentations, email campaigns, and more).
  • Promoting and advertising online, offline, through public relations and social media.
  • Educating your customer service people to be better advocates for your company.

Consider, too, the way that marketing is moving away from “push” toward “pull.” For example, instead of buying only traditional ads, you might add training articles or video clips to your website.

If you’re looking for direction in sorting through the best way to use your marketing communications dollars, email or call.

Suggested marketing communications budget for small to medium-size companies*

Annual gross income Marketing communications budget
Less than $5 million 7 – 8 percent
$5-10 million 6 – 7 percent
$10-50 million 5 – 6 percent
$50-100 million 4 – 5 percent
More than $100 million 3 percent

*Call VIA to discuss reviewing a report focused on your particular industry.

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