This question helps us to identify what kind of resources small & medium businesses are putting into their marketing each month. The average spend across all industries was $400/month with 32% spending less than $100/month.
We also asked respondents to state what industry type they operated in. Looking at the ‘industry specific’ graph below we can see the types of businesses that are spending more than the average amount.
- The average spend across all industries was $400 per month
- Only 4% spend more than 5k per month
There is clearly not a great deal of budget being spent on marketing by SMBs. We know that SMBs have limited budgets compared to larger organisations but are they being held back by other factors such as doubts/scepticism about the results? Or perhaps it is a direct effect of the current financial climate?
Calculating a Marketing Budget
According to research by Gartner (with information gathered from both B2B and B2C companies), in the Key Findings from U.S. Digital Marketing Spending Survey, 2013, there are several ways that companies calculate a marketing budget. One way is the percent of sales method where companies typically spend 5-7% of their overall sales.
Another method is to calculate the percent of total budget in which new businesses usually spend 20-30% in the first two years and then scale back to an average of 7-10% annually. Gartner reported that in 2012, companies on average spent 10.4% of their annual revenue on marketing activities and they expect that their budgets will increase by 6% in 2013.
Adjust to Your Audience
Once you have identified your target audience and tailored your marketing activities to how your audience best reacts, you can begin to monitor the response and shift tactics as necessary. One of the greatest benefits of being a smaller company is the ability to be nimble and adapt to market changes. If you find that a particular marketing method is not as effective as anticipated, you can easily try another technique. And, by keeping a close eye on your marketing spend, you can reallocate funds appropriately as you react to how your audience chooses to engage with you. The ultimate goal should be to increase your marketing return on investment by reducing the cost of customer acquisition. Stay focused on increasing the number and quality of leads for each dollar spent on marketing.
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