How much should we spend on marketing?

How much should a business to business company spend on marketing and advertising? There will never be a one-size-fits-all answer, but I’ve been looking into a few reports, and it would appear that for manufacturers, typical expenditure in the UK and USA is around 6%–10% of company revenue.

Now, of course this may cover different things at different companies; many don’t include the salaries of the marketing team in this, for example. Others include the sales team within the marketing budget. However, you could work out a minimum definition of marketing spend (perhaps just the external expenditure on advertising, exhibitions, etc) and a maximum definition (also include staff salaries, training, support tools, expenses, etc), and see if either of those comes within the 6%–10% range.

There’s some data on this US site here, and some UK stats here, although if you’re a B2B company, be careful not to consider any combined stats of B2B and B2C companies as relevant, as B2C companies tend to spend considerably more.