Marketing can cost as much as you like and as little as you like. It all depends on what goals and what ambitions you have. Then it is also about what types of marketing efforts you want to implement.
Many companies can set aside a percentage of sales on marketing and then it is up to the marketing manager or marketing department to decide based on that budget on which activities to carry out.
How do you get the most out of your marketing budget?
When deciding what to do with your budget, do not start with what things cost, just think more about what marketing efforts you need to implement in a year. Make a marketing plan based on what strategy you want to use and then you will see what activities you need to do.
If you work with strategies for Inbound Marketing or Content Marketing, you then list the basic activities of your marketing that you need to do to get the best possible results.
For someone who only wants to work with Content Marketing, it could look like the following:
48 blog posts – 4 per month (to drive traffic to the website)
6 downloadable guides / templates (to get website visitors to convert to leads)
18 follow-up emails / newsletters to process the conversions via Marketing Automation Marketing Automation system – Google Ads and / or payed social media
12 new landing pages (for driving traffic and converting)
Once you have listed all the marketing activities you need to carry out in order for you to be able to deliver the best possible result, you need to get quotes from suitable suppliers.
There will probably be more things on the list of activities that you did not think of during your work with the marketing plan and the activity list. Then you can just expand the marketing plan / the activity list.
Once you have received quotes from different suppliers, you compare these against each other and take into account all the criteria that you have set up in order to be able to choose the most suitable supplier for each activity.
If you need to buy all services from suppliers, then make a summary of all costs and if it is under your budget so congratulations! If you end up over, start by reviewing all marketing activities and find out which ones you can do yourself or within the marketing team.
From there, optimize your budget so that everything fits within it or stay below budget.
If you do not succeed in bringing together the marketing activities that you believe needs to be done both internally and externally, you might need to expand your budget. It is often a worse idea to do something half-hearted. This is because it will put you in a position where you cannot get the results you have been striving for even though you have spent most of your budget.
Fast results often cost more and long-term results give better ROI
One way to also work with your marketing budget is to optimize it in comparison to the time horizon you are working with.
Getting fast results often costs more over time and getting long-term results will probably ultimately create better Return On Investment (ROI).
Writing a 1 000 word blog post may take a day or two of your time if you write it yourself or between 2 000 – 10 000 SEK if you let a supplier do it. This may seem like a lot of time and / or money, but compared to Google Ads or paid social media, it will in the long run be much more profitable with the blog post if it is correctly SEO-adapted.
Here is an example from us. In March 2019, we published a blog post on our Swedish site called “What is a funnel?” In the first 9 months we have received 513 visitors to that blog post, only from Google. See the image below from the Google Search Console.
Advertising via Google Ads with a mix of the keywords that the blog post “what is a funnel” appears on costs between 10-40 SEK per click.
If we take an average cost of about 20 SEK per click, the alternative of using Google Ads (SEM) would cost over 10 000 SEK to get the same amount of traffic.
The even nicer thing with the example above is that the blog post will continue to generate traffic to our website in the coming years. This would have cost significantly more if we had used Google Ads.
With that said, we could get 500 visitors through Google Ads in the first month for 10 000 SEK, which the blog post did not create.
Use the budget to get results
There are an incredible number of different activities to choose from to market a business. It can be anything from TV commercials, blog posts, profile clothes, trade fairs, sponsorship of events etc.
It is important to keep in mind that you as a marketing manager or marketeer want to be able to show some form of results that you have achieved with your marketing budget.
There are certain types of activities that are easier to measure than others. It is e.g. easier to measure digital marketing in detail than traditional advertising. Take the example of advertising on Facebook compared to advertising on buses. On Facebook, you can see in detail how many people have seen your ad, clicked on your ad and also converted on your website. With a bus advertisement, the best measurability you can get is an estimate of how many have been exposed to the ad.
There are campaigns that are perfect for traditional advertising but keep in mind that it is more difficult to measure.
There is no answer to the question “what does marketing cost?”, the question is a bit like the question “how long is a string?”. However, there are many different cost levels for different marketing services or activities depending on which supplier you have chosen. Therefore, it is important to meet several potential suppliers when purchasing marketing services.
There are many ways to maximize your marketing budget and our recommendation is to start with the types of activities you want to carry out over the next year and how to make it fit within the marketing budget. It is often costly to do it the other way around and go to a supplier and say that you have this budget and ask what they can do with it.
It may be worth reflecting on the time span for you to have to show results for the marketing activities. The longer the time horizon you have, the more cost-effective your marketing can be.
Think once more about what marketing activities you can carry out where you can show results. It often pays off in the long run.