Not sure what you should spend to grow your business?
Invest early in brand strategy.
With 30 years of experience working with small businesses, we’ve seen too many start out with what they can afford, rather than what they really need to succeed. The fact is, 15% of new startups fail in year one, while 50% won’t see the end of year five. And the main reason is that they’re were unwilling to properly budget for marketing activity.
Relative to the costs associated with things like product development, talent acquisition, and marketing, investing in a concise and compelling brand strategy costs very little in the grand scheme of growing your business and building equity in your startup brand.
Do you need a brand agency?
If you’ve been involved in your own brand building so far, you know how much work goes into it. If your results are less than stellar then hiring brand marketing experts can be the smart move. An agency will bring an objective opinion to the table, helping you see things from your client’s perspective. They’ll also have a brand system that’ll help you bring consistency to your channels as well as measure the effectiveness of your brand strategy.
If your small-business (B2B and B2C) has 6 or more employees, or close to $1 million in sales, or a funded start-up – typically you’re ready to hire an agency to help market your business. If you have a medium-sized business, you’ve most likely been partnering with agencies for a while.
Branding elements that are worth the investment:
- Research and analysis
- Brand strategy
- Designing your brand (Identity, website, and marketing materials)
- Marketing (Lead generation, nurturing, and conversion)
- Maintaining and upgrading your website and brand experience
- ROI Analytics
What does brand development typically cost?
That’s a tough question to answer. It’s similar to asking “What’s a car cost?”. Obviously the answer depends on the type of site you need, the capabilities required, and the amount of bells and whistles you want to include in an effort to engage your target audience.
Typical branding projects range from $5-15K depending on the amount of research, and the number of deliverables needed to accomplish the job (yes we can still help with more modest budgets).
Website development can run between $3 to $4K for a basic site and well over $20K or more for a site that integrates e-commerce and marketing automation. Adding video, while a fantastic tool, can add thousands of dollars onto a project.
What should I budget for ongoing marketing?
The amount your business should budget for brand development varies based on where your brand currently stands, and where you’d want it to go. Marketing spend also depends on how much and how quickly you want to grow.
As a general rule of thumb, you should spend 5 percent, or so, of your total revenue on marketing to maintain your current position. If you’re looking to grow you should consider budgeting closer to 10 percent. This, of course, varies by industry. The number of services or products also effect budget. For example, industrial, B2B corporations may spend between 1 and 2 percent of their net revenue (total sales) on marketing established products, yet companies in highly competitive industries such as retail, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals will often spend over 20 percent of their net revenue on marketing.
These rules of thumb are based on businesses that average at least six-figure revenue. If your company has smaller margins you may want to allocate a percentage of your net revenue based on your best guesstimates of what your competitors are spending.
What kind of return can I expect from my marketing investment?
Fair question. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Some marketing tactics require a longer term than others to see an effective return. For example, if your marketing strategy is focused on branding you’ll need a longer period to measure results than with a lead-generation strategy.
Typically, most marketing activity snowballs over time. Return increase exponentially the longer the tactics are employed when using a coordinated, integrated strategy.
At Mystique our expectation is to deliver a return of 220% to 280% over the first year when employing multiple tactics – while tracking measures on individual tactics and eliminating poor performers to double down on the winners.
Feel free to discuss all your options with us. We are here to help.
MYSTIQUE BRAND COMMUNICATIONS
416-441-2666 Ext 14.
Are you looking to take your brand to the next level?
Do you need a brand partner who’ll do the heavy lifting while inspiring you to achieve more? A team that not only helps you find your voice, but works with you to ensure that your voice is heard. Let Mystique’s branding pros provide you with scalable lead generation and retention solutions to make certain that you reach the right people with the right message at the right time.
Not sure where you brand stands?
Schedule time to review your current situation with us and discuss possible ways to optimize your brand experience to overcome your business challenges and reach your goals. Even if you choose not to use us, you’ll walk away with some great ideas to implement in your business today.