How Much Should You Spend On Marketing – Forbes

How Much Should You Spend On Marketing – Forbes

By Thomas Minieri, artist, author, entrepreneur | CEO of Minieri & Company | founder of the Lemonade Maker® brand.


When determining your marketing budget, there are several key factors to consider. Marketing encompasses everything from branding and website development to communications and sales. It is a big header, and each component needs to be well thought out to ensure your entire marketing system is firing on all cylinders.

Branding Overview

Building a brand is not just for large companies. It is the foundation of every business of any size and in any industry. Your brand is your first impression; it is comprised of the visuals that represent your products or services combined with the words used to communicate those products and services. Everything from logo design to sales copy is what makes your brand unique. A successful brand conveys credibility, while an underfunded brand creates doubt. One of my favorite sayings sums up the vibe of branding: How you do anything is how you do everything. Does your brand image tell prospects that you are professional, or does it send the message that you are low budget and disorganized? Branding is about perception.

Branding Spend

Start off with a professionally designed logo, a defined color palette, a selection of unique photos or carefully selected stock images and well-written sales copy. With a focus in marketing on return on investment (ROI), it might be challenging or impossible to track the effectiveness of many branding efforts. I consider branding an investment that makes every other part of your marketing strategy more effective. A poor brand hurts everything while a great brand helps everything. A business owner may spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for initial startup branding and additional funds for ongoing updates and further development.

Advertising Overview

Any effort that directly promotes your business to prospects can be considered advertising. Options may include running paid ads on social media or search engines, posting on social media, email marketing campaigns, direct mail campaigns, billboards, radio spots, outside salespeople or networking events. Your advertising budget should also include the cost to create any content that will be utilized in the actual advertisements as well as the cost of managing advertising campaigns.

Advertising Spend

My rule of thumb with respect to advertising spend is to have two budgets in mind: one to sustain current revenues and another for robust growth. If you want to maintain current revenue amounts, then 5% to 10% of sales allocated toward advertising may suffice. If you want rapid growth, then you may need to push that number higher, possibly to 20% or more depending on the industry and type of business you operate. A startup business should commit to a fixed number for their advertising spend as their revenue may be too low to utilize a percentage of sales as a gauge. For many small businesses, $1,000 per month is a reasonable minimum advertising spend.


I call communications “marketing insurance.” If you are going to spend money on branding and advertising, then make sure leads are managed properly. The first step to achieving this is to streamline the methods by which prospects …….


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