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a blog by Chris Barrow

How much should I invest in digital marketing?

My concern is that the more practices that invest, the more they are bidding against each other – and against bigger players with deeper pockets.

This post will not win me any friends amongst the digital marketing agencies (some of whom are really close friends) – but I find myself asking a simple question:

“As an advisor to many independent practices, what should I be telling them to budget for as far as their digital marketing budget is concerned?”

I’m frequently asked to help build business plans and cash flow forecasts for new starts, acquisitions, re-brands, expansions and turnarounds.

I have to advise on:

Capital expenditure – for brand, web site, on-line video and social media content and engagement.

Ongoing expenditure for Google domination, whether it is by SEO, PPC or Adwords.

I can take a good stab at the first item – because I’m involved all the time – and would suggest:

Branding and literature £10,000.

A web site that works £5,000.

On-line video for the web site £4,000.

But what about the ongoing expenses for digital marketing?

During a recent conversation with an acknowledged expert, a sum of £3,000 per month simply for digital marketing was mentioned, with a lag time of 6 months between start-up and return on investment.

I appreciated the honesty.

I also wonder how many small owner-managed practices can swallow that – and how many are paying significantly less and seeing poor returns?

What should I be telling my clients?

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