Trying to run your business in a bubble can be beneficial in some ways. Focus is improved when you shutout the noise of the world. Once you are in the flow of things, a lot of times the momentum can carry you forward on whatever path you’re on. It’s a great feeling to be one with your work. However, there are downsides to that as well. By shutting out all that noise, you can lose track of your place in this small world of business.
Awareness about your clients and competitors can’t be neglected. Without that perspective, how do you measure your productivity? Against what do you gauge success?
Whether you like it or not, you have competition, and it’s helpful, imperative even, to know what they are doing. Particularly when it comes to marketing, you want to examine how much your competitors are spending and where. Otherwise, you could be trying to win the Indy500 in a homemade boxcar.
Let’s talk about averages across marketing platforms. According to numerous 2017 reports, digital marketing should eat up about 35% of your marketing budget. Oh, and that number has historically, and is projected, to grow. So, if you’re still dumping a significant part of your marketing budget into traditional marketing channels: billboards, TV commercials, print ads, you’re gambling at a high stakes table with the worst odds. Within that digital marketing percentage, most small to medium sized businesses are allocating the majority of it to social and online marketing (banner ads, online video, etc.). Depending on your audience, you can adjust to where your dollars will go the furthest.
Your competitors want to reach your customers, and they’ll spend some serious money to do it. Small businesses are generally spending somewhere between 4-7% of their revenue on marketing, and more than 60% of respondents to a 2016 survey stated that they plan on increasing marketing budgets in the future.
While it’s easy to see marketing expenses as a hard pill to swallow, keep in mind this is what will keep you in your customers’ minds.
Armed with information, or at least a general sense of what the average spending is, take a look at your marketing budget. If it’s not in line with your competitors, you might need to employ the old adage of spending money to make money.