How much should great online marketing cost you?

I know a lot of companies will soon start making their marketing plans for 2010. At most companies, an arbitrary “marketing budget” is allocated, and different marketing activities then get allocated proportions of that, depending on what appears to be working, or what the MD favours doing, or what the parent company dictates. Within each of these activities, further sub-allocations get made, which finally leads to PR agencies, magazine ad reps or exhibition organisers being asked: “What can you do for £xxx?”

I’ve discussed before how the whole idea of advertising budgets is daft. Either advertising generates a profit, in which case you should spend every penny you’ve got on it, then go out and borrow some more and spend that too. Or it doesn’t work, in which case you shouldn’t spend a penny on it. Other marketing activities follow the same pattern. But we live in a world of budgets, so perhaps the best compromise is to work on a “bottom-up” approach, listing the things we really want to do, and how much it’ll cost to do them in the way we want to. Then we just do as many of them as we can within our budget, rather than doing a bit of everything, most of it half-heartedly.

So, what should you be thinking of spending if you want to systematically go through your online marketing in 2010 and make your website, emails, etc into a well-oiled machine? At the do-it-yourself end, I like to think we offer the most sensible option with our Insider Programme, as you know. It’ll give you complete instructions on what to do, for less than twenty-five quid a week. What you spend on top of that to get them done is up to you, but it could be very little indeed.

At the other extreme, I’ve been talking to some of the big “digital marketing agencies” recently, and they can happily find £20,000 of work a month to do on your website. By the end of the year, you’d probably have a dominating web presence, all sorts of social media campaigns going on and some really impressive results to show for it all.

However, for most B2B companies, especially in the industrial and technical sector, that really would bust the budget. As you’re probably aware, here at Business Marketing Online we’re now doing plenty of contract work such as AdWords management and search engine optimisation, but we’ve been asked if we’d quote for a broader online marketing support service, based on the Insider Programme topics, which you can see here.

Of course we can. And here’s the offer: we’ll go through 2010, working on your company’s online marketing each week, based on the 52 subjects in the Insider Programme. By the end of the year you’ll have an improved website, vastly increased traffic, better email campaigns, a blog, proper analytical reports, an effective AdWords campaign, and much more. We’ll have done it all for you, but you’ll also know how to move things on in future years.

The cost for this? £12,000 – under £250 a week to actually put into action what we’ve scheduled in the Insider Programme. You’ll also need to commission some extra copy for your website, pay for the AdWords campaigns, etc, but if you can build £20,000 into your budget for completely sorting out your online marketing in 2010 and moving it up to the best in your sector, then I promise we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Have a good budget meeting.

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