How Much Should I Spend on Marketing?

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Budget and Marketing Plan

Marketing is one of the most impactful investments you make in your business. With the right marketing strategy, you reach the right customers, create the right message, and create the right path to success.

So much goes into what you should spend on your marketing strategy, so use this guide to understand the things worth considering as you budget your business’s digital marketing needs. 

What are your marketing goals? 

Are you trying to get a start-up business off the ground? Focus your marketing efforts on making your website and business presence stand out among your competitors in Google and social media rankings. The less well-known your business is, the more money you will have to spend to get results. Trust your digital marketing team to help strategize a budget that will get you better rankings without exhausting your funds.

Are you trying to reach a new demographic? You’ll need advertising, rebranding, and other marketing tools to extend your brand to new customers. Your projected sales and saturation goals should always be aligned with your marketing spending. The loftier the goal, the more you’ll need to spend. Too little, and you might as well not do it at all. 

Budget a marketing strategy for your website and social media presence, as well as your bricks-and-mortar business, if applicable. Each sector of your company should have its marketing budget and plan as part of an overall strategy.

Once you reach the end of your budget, your digital marketing company will determine your return on investment, known as ROI. If you’re spending a lot of money on your marketing and seeing the same amount of traffic or sales as before, then you need to either A) revamp your budget or B) rethink your marketing strategy. 

Remember: no marketing plan or technique will always give the same results. Be prepared to change your budget and marketing tactics accordingly.

The goal is to get more out of your marketing strategy investment on a per-dollar basis: if you’re not getting back at least what you put in regarding customer interest and profit, then it’s time to sit back and re-strategize with the pros. 

What are you trying to correct?

What are your concerns with your current marketing ideas and budget? Was your marketing plan a major bust last year and you’re still licking your financial wounds? Did you run out of funds before you could complete a big promotion? Did you overestimate (or underestimate) a sales pitch’s success? 

Marketing can be hit and miss, and if you don’t have a direction in mind, or at least a path you’d like to avoid, then it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at the problem. 

Consider the following when creating next year’s marketing budget:

  • Your competition
  • Your ROI 
  • Barriers to entry 
  • Social media losses
  • Demographic changes
  • Cultural diversity 
  • Popular culture

Every business is different, and as a result, the level of investment will vary considerably. If your competition is highly competitive across search engines and social media, you’ll need to invest more. Likewise, gauging the aggressiveness of your growth objectives means you can make smart decisions about budget allocation. 

You should know what problems to anticipate and navigate to get the most out of your marketing budget and its cost. Know what mistakes you want to avoid before you create a marketing budget and you’ll have a better idea of how much money you need to spend. 

Remember: damage control is more costly than a well-planned marketing execution. 

How much did you spend last year? 

Use your marketing budget for last year as a guideline. However, don’t simply repeat the same budget if your company now has different aims or has changed in some way.

You also don’t want to overspend and put so much money into marketing that you lose sight of the rest of your business’s needs. This is why checking on your last year’s budget for marketing is so important: you can focus on the areas where it could have been spread a little further and put more of your money this year into the marketing strategies that yielded the best results. 

Did you underspend last year? Plan to double your marketing investments this year. Did you put your money into the wrong marketing ideas? Be prepared to brainstorm and change up your marketing plan. Did your marketing plan/budget work out as expected last year? Great — double that effort this year and put as much money into marketing as possible.

Remember: you have limited resources from which to pool your marketing strategy funds into. Cut corners where your business will not immediately suffer if you need to, but don’t under budget your marketing needs due to lack of funds. The downfall of under budgeting can be low or reduced profits, which will take longer to recover from than pulling from business resources now. 

How much do you want to spend? 

This sounds like a silly question, but it’s useful in helping you realise how much about marketing and its associated costs you understand. If your answer is zero, then you don’t get what the right marketing plan will do for your business or have yet to find success with marketing strategies. 

If you see repeated success with a marketing investment, money is not an issue and your budget will only be limited by what you cap yourself to. Get out of the mindset of what you want to spend on your marketing strategies, and into one of what you should spend. You’ll be better prepared to loosen your budget this year. 

Remember: a budget cap and limited thinking will keep you from meeting your marketing goals. Listen to your digital marketing expert when it comes to finalising a budget for your marketing strategy and you’ll have more control over your business’s success. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours when it comes to selecting a budget for your marketing strategy in any given year. However, being open-minded and allowing more funds to be used in targeted and specific marketing efforts will often lead to great results. 

We can help 

The right digital marketing agency will help you meet your marketing goals, regardless of your budget. Allow our team at Harper Digital to provide you with the marketing expertise you need. Our transparency allows you to see your marketing efforts in real-time whenever you wish. We can help you measure real ROI to enable your overall marketing strategy to grow sustainably — whether it’s a budget of $1,000 or $100,000. 


Book a free digital strategy session with us today! You’ll get smart marketing strategies and a customised budget to help your business grow and scale effectively. 

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