Create A Workable and Realistic Marketing


Smart Businesses Never Stop Marketing

So you have the best, most amazingly awesome, product/service to come out in years. Or maybe you just sell cheap widgets. Now it’s time to get the word out. Marketing. But how much to spend?

While the marketing industry is packed with strategies and ideas, it’s easy to get confused or distracted by all the things you “should” be doing. In the end, though, it all comes down to planning and budget. Something most people don’t know or want to know, anything about.

The first question I ask a new client is, “Do you know your budget?” Unfortunately, the usual reply is, “I have no idea! Is that something you can help with.”

There are two sides to the question of how much your marketing budget should be.  The first part comes from the bigger question of your business and revenue models. It has to do with how much you can allocate from a macro point of view based on revenue, expected revenue, and/or outside funding.  The second aspect of the budget question deals with now that you know how much you can spend, where is that budget to be spent.

To help you begin to define what your top line marketing budget should be here are a few basic starting points:

  • Startups, new, and small companies that have been in business for one to five years; plan on 15 to 50 percent of your gross revenue or projected revenue on marketing. If you are still in development or are just getting going, don’t spend a dime you don’t absolutely have to. There are exceptions to this, such as building awareness of an upcoming launch, but generally, you’ll want to wait.
  • For those companies that have been in business more than a few years and have some market share/brand equity, allocating between 10 and 20 percent (or more) of your gross or projected revenue is reasonable.

This may seem like a lot, but remember new and emerging brands are often seeking to capture market share and establish brand recognition with consumers who have never heard of them before. Which is why it’s so expensive. Once the brand is established the marketing budget can be reduced and the marketing mix refocused.


There are few people you’ll meet who can claim to have been a successful Management Consultant, Entrepreneur, Restaurateur, Executive Creative Director, Designer, Marketer, and IT Professional.

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