How much does a house cost? A car? A doggie in the window? If you were going by averages, the answers are simple: $235,000, $16,400 and $249. Yet we know that averages don’t tell the whole story. Although a new Mercedes or old Rolls Royce might be five times the cost of a new Chevrolet, to say that any of these is not ‘worth it,’ ignores the reality that perceived value depends on one’s needs, wants, credit limits and perhaps a dozen other factors. Like your income.

Yet, many believe that there’s an easy answer to questions related to marketing budgets. How much is a logo? What percentage of revenue should you spend on advertising? On a marketing plan? On PR? Again the averages are easy: $5,000, 3%, $8,000 and $2,500 a month. So there you have it. Marketing budgets for everyone… until you consider unique circumstances like your form of business, the growth rate of your market, how fast you want to grow, competitive environment, product or service and…your budget. So many businesses want great marketing, but have come to believe that it’s not ‘worth it,’ when the truth of the matter is, they just don’t know what’s appropriate for their business.

You can get fine marketing for $5,000 a year, just like you can get a fine car for $5,000. Fine brochures or Web sites can be developed for $1,000. But, such budgets may not accomplish your goals. Further, many confuse marketing infrastructure, generally one-time costs like corporate identity, branding, market planning and design, with ongoing costs such as advertising, public relations or direct marketing. Some costs are investments like the selling price of a house or car, which need to be amortized over several years. Others are ongoing expenses, much like fuel, maintenance costs and insurance.

Further, people sometimes confuse a medium with a message. We often hear that ‘advertising doesn’t work.’ Or ‘we tried seminars and didn’t get any business from them.’ Does this mean that advertising and seminars are ineffective? Or could it be the content, message or target audience are wrong?

Maximizing your marketing depends on good strategy and branding as well as solid tactics.


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