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How Much Time & Money Should You Spend Marketing Your Business?

Updated: Feb 2

As a business owner, determining how to allocate your limited resources is crucial. And when it comes to marketing your own business, one of the most common questions you probably ask yourself is: “How much of my time / money should I dedicate to marketing my business?”


time and money marketing my business
time and money marketing my business

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), typically successful small businesses spend around 7-8% of their gross revenue on marketing. For larger companies, that figure is around 10-12%.


Data from Statista indicates that across industries, senior marketing leaders reported spending an average of 26% of their time on marketing and communication responsibilities.


McKinsey research into B2B organisations proposes that CMOs and top marketing executives should be dedicating 30-50% of their time to forward-looking strategy and planning, not just execution. This enables greater prioritisation and growth.


A survey conducted by Wasp Barcode Technologies found that:

· 37% of small businesses owners spend between 1-5 hours per week on marketing.

· 22% spend 6-10 hours weekly on marketing their business (equating to approx. one day a week).


So, in summary, recommended benchmarks vary but here are some best practice guidelines:

  • Aim to spend 20-30% of your total work hours on marketing. This comes out to about 1 full workday per week. Any less than 20% may not move the needle and over 30% takes away from other key areas of the business that you should be focused on.

  • Marketing includes more than just social media activity. Make sure you spend time on the full scope of the marketing mix. This includes understanding your customers, who they are and their decision-making journey, branding, advertising, key word research, website & conversion optimisation, analysing data, writing compelling & persuasive copy & and much more.

  • Start with a strategy, which is aligned to your specific business growth goals. Effort and time should track towards a defined marketing plan, targets and ROI.


With 20-30% being the suggested time spent on marketing, should you do it yourself or should you hire a marketing expert to help?


Here are some of the key benefits of hiring a part-time marketing expert for your small business:


  • Access to specialised expertise - A dedicated marketing pro has the latest knowledge on trends, techniques, and best practices, to know what works for different sectors and industries.

  • Save time and focus on what you do best - They handle the heavy lifting so you can focus on growing your core business operations.

  • Develop integrated multi-channel campaigns - An expert can coordinate your website, social media, advertising, email marketing and more, ensuring you have a coherent and consistent brand voice.

  • Gain an objective outside perspective - They can assess your branding, messaging, products more impartially, with an expert opinion on how to improve and enhance.

  • Utilise proven marketing systems and processes – an expert is likely to have access to professional tools such as Google Analytics, Hubspot, Mailchimp, Moz, Semrush, Canva Pro etc. These tools expand capabilities and provide consistent professionalism.

  • Understand.and leverage data and analytics - Experts translate insights into informed strategic decisions. They’re likely to understand your website data and use this to inform your marketing priorities.

  • Reach and convert more customers - By applying their expertise & knowledge they can help target more of the right people, in the right place, with the right message!

  • Much more affordable than hiring an in-house Marketing Director - And you only pay for what you need - meaning you can spend more time and more resource on the business of running your business.

The right marketing pro can be an invaluable asset for executing marketing plans & campaigns to fuel your small business growth and revenue. They plug knowledge and workload gaps, so that ultimately, you can do more of what you enjoy.


Are you considering using an external marketing partner to accelerate your growth in 2024? If so, I’d love to hear from you.


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