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Marketing: Your money

By Denise Goodyear

An old business adage says you’ve gotta spend money to make money. And while every business owner knows they’ve got to spend on the day-to-day infrastructure of running a business, they often don’t know why, how, or where to strategically spend to get the customer in the door.

So when it comes to promoting your business, put that corporate credit card back in your wallet and read these tips before spending another cent on ads, billboards, or brochures.

How much to spend?

Industry research shows us that the standard promotional spending for a business-to-business operation should be between 2 and 5 percent of revenue, while business-to-customer operations should spend between 5 and 10 percent of revenue. However, these industry standards are just that: averages.

For your business, that percentage may be higher or lower depending on many factors, including your industry, how you plan to reach your customer, and more. So start with research. What’s standard in your industry? What about your geographical area? How much is your competition spending?

From here, it’s essential to spend those hard-earned dollars strategically to reach the right customers!

Opportunities arise.

Plenty of opportunities to advertise your business will come up. You’ll be approached by local sports teams looking for sponsorships in exchange for putting your company’s name on their jerseys. You’ll be offered advertising space in the Yellow Pages and local magazines and publications. You’ll want to be on every social media platform from TikTok to Snapchat.

But are those the right places for you? Are they appropriate for your message?

Before spending a cent, it’s time to sit down and create some goals for your marketing. Gather your management team, staff, or maybe even a small group of invested family, friends, or willing customers and have a serious conversation about your business. What’s your goal? Do you want to grow revenues by increasing per-person sales? Maybe you want to increase your customer base? Expand into a new area?

No matter what your 2024 goals are, be realistic. You need to choose an achievable goal and create timelines to reach it. Outline specific milestones and create a plan to measure your results.

Look before you leap.

Once you have your goals in place, you can create a plan to achieve it—possibly breaking down your budget into quarters, specific initiatives, or even types of spending.

Here are some hard and soft costs to consider for your advertising and marketing budget:

  • networking, strategy, and planning (your time is money!)

  • content creation, design, printing, and so forth

  • advertising placement, management, reporting

Measure up.

One of the most important—if tedious—aspects of budgeting is tracking and adjusting.

Regularly monitoring what you’re spending and your return on your investment means you’ll know what’s working and when to make changes. At least once a month, spend a little time with your website and social media analytics and compare them to your sales numbers to get a good picture.

The foreseeable future . . .

Building a marketing plan and budget can feel like a bit of a process, but its value cannot be understated. Creating a plan, budget, and goals, and checking in regularly on your progress, will keep you from overspending or wasting money on marketing that’s not reaching your audience.

When you’re building your marketing budget and plan for 2024, feel free to reach out to Intuitive Media for expert guidance.

Denise Goodyear, president of Intuitive Media, has spent more than 20 years helping clients optimize their marketing strategies and budgets to achieve real results. An active networker, volunteer, mentor, and speaker, she follows all the latest marketing trends to provide the latest knowledge, tech, and tools to help businesses grow through traditional and digital marketing strategies and advertising.

For more information or to book a consultation for your business or organization, visit or contact Denise at 709.770.4299 or


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