How Much Should I Spend on Marketing (and Where Can I Save)?


Marketing is a complicated space in today’s world. There are a lot of great opportunities to get your brand out there for less, but budget cuts often limit even the most cost-effective solutions. Newcomers and SMBs that aren’t as seasoned are struggling to figure out exactly what they should be spending their marketing budgets on. Fortunately, if you’re among them, you’re not alone.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how you can calculate a good marketing budget for your business. We’ll also discuss some ways to save without compromising on the quality of your campaigns. That way, you’ll feel more confident in your business operations and finances alike. 

If you’re starting your marketing budget, you’re already one step ahead because you’re planning. This can help you avoid a lot of missteps and misallocated funds, as well as to:

  • Prioritize projects and campaigns 
  • Compare year-over-year budgets
  • Allocate funds in advance 
  • Demonstrate value to stakeholders and higher-ups
  • Calculate the ROI of marketing efforts 
  • And so much more 

Let’s start by talking about how to establish a baseline. 

The typical marketing budget

Deloitte reports that marketing makes up about 13.6% of a company’s budget for 2023, which is nearly a 4% increase compared to the past two years. However, what’s right for your business might be slightly different. Take a look at your total budget (you should have one by now) and then figure out what 13.6% of that would be. 

Does it sound like enough to get the job done? Too much? If you’re not sure, start doing some cost estimate research. For example, you can search for things like:

  • The average cost of SEO 
  • The average cost of PPC campaigns 
  • The average cost of email marketing 
  • And so on 

This will give you insight as to what you should anticipate spending on these items. Sometimes, it may be presented in a percentage, while others may be a flat dollar amount. Once you have this insight, you’ll be better prepared to create your own marketing budget. 

How to maximize your marketing budget 

The best thing that you can do is to focus not on what you “should” be spending, but on how you can spend your marketing dollars in the wisest way possible. There are several ways to do this, but it starts by doing what you’re doing right now: educating yourself. 

If you want to make your marketing budget the most effective it can be, keep the following tips in mind. 

Understand the customer journey 

The customer journey is not a linear, straightforward process. There are many turns along the way and customers often go back and forth before making a final purchasing decision. Because of this, you need to get a better understanding of the journey that your customers take so that you can allocate marketing funds effectively. 

When you take the time to research this, you’ll learn things like:

  • Which channels you should be spending (or saving) on 
  • What platforms your target audience uses most
  • What messages and types of content will engage them
  • What solutions or factors will convert them 

This will also help you tweak and deliver a better experience for the customer at every stage of their journey. 

Outsource to save on in-house costs 

An in-house marketing team can get expensive, quickly. Some companies and startups just don’t have the funds to make this happen. However, you still need a marketing strategy, and you can’t be a one-person operation. What’s the alternative? You can outsource to any number of marketing agencies and private marketing experts who can deliver the results you need. 

The cost of outsourcing is fractional when compared to hiring staff. Plus, you get access to marketing experts who can further educate you on where you should be spending and saving. They can provide insights and advice that will help you set yourself apart from the competition without breaking your budget. 

Take advantage of reports and analytics 

There are a lot of great tools to help you maximize your marketing efforts today. The software and apps that you use will include several reporting options and metrics that you can track to help you see how your marketing budget is doing. You can look at which campaigns are performing well, which ones are underperforming, and where you might need to reallocate your marketing funds. 

The real secret to managing a marketing budget (or any budget, for that matter) is to constantly reevaluate the situation and make sure that every penny is going to the right place. This might seem time-consuming and tedious, but modern reporting tools and AI make it easy.

Pay attention to where you spend your money 

It’s going to be important to make sure that you are spending marketing dollars in the right places. Branding and reputation building can often be done on a small budget since you can do a lot of the work yourself. The main areas that you want to focus on include:

  • Branding spend 
  • Advertising spend 
  • Communications spend 
  • Sales spend 

All of this is necessary for an effective marketing strategy, but how you allocate the spending depends specifically on what your business needs. Sometimes, it may be tempting to spend more on one area where you don’t really need it, but if you’re aware of how and where your budget is being used, you can avoid this. 

You can also conduct a marketing audit to see exactly where your marketing strategy stands. Then, you can use that information to reallocate your budget, cut expenses, and more. 

Speaking of outsourcing, partner with for everything you need 

At, we have a team of dedicated virtual receptionists who can help with all aspects of your outreach campaigns to help you make the most of your marketing budget. Plus, we can offer a 24/7 answering service so you never miss an opportunity. We have support for lead intake and appointment scheduling, too, so you can focus your time on what matters. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to

Business Education
Marketing Advice

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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