Ask a Marketer: How Should I Spend My Marketing Budget? Consider These 5 Case Studies

Here’s Sean Sutherland’s Ask a Marketer, which can help you get the most out of your marketing budget and time. As CMO of Kapowza, a Baltimore-based creative agency, he’s seen it all. Here, he’ll share his hard-earned tips from over a decade in the industry.

Ask Sean a marketing question

Q: I have X dollars. How should I spend it on marketing?

A: Budget is often the limiting factor when considering any marketing effort. However, just because you can’t keep up with how often Amazon or McDonalds are on the air doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider an advertising or marketing expense. There’s always something you can do to be a better marketer, regardless of your budget. You just need to know what the goal is.

When considering a marketing effort, you should always start by asking yourself what the goal is, trying to be as quantitative as possible.

Be honest with yourself and keep in mind that each of the example goals below will lead me to suggest a number of different marketing tactics to use, but each also lends itself, naturally, to selling points. and executions that you should also avoid.

Common goals you could focus on:

If you want to grow your social following…

  • Lean towards social media efforts, including advertisements, and perhaps consider newsletters, while avoiding more traditional channels like print or broadcast. If you are more of a cause or B2C bent, influencer marketing definitely becomes a more beneficial and welcome opportunity for brands and businesses.

If you are looking to nurture and convert contacts into customers or fans…

  • Please do not spam your audience. Hitting them too many times with the same message or even messages that don’t measure up is a chance of losing them as a contact. You need to make sure that you provide them with a good reason to care, and consistency in this area will naturally lead them to become customers or fans.

If you’re looking to make a statement at an upcoming trade show…

  • I spent a good part of my early years in Baltimore working on trade shows for a top home improvement company and saw it all: the tricks, the disinterested, and the real great talent at trade shows. What matters now is less about cluttering your booth with pop-up banners or generic photos, and more about focusing on engagement, telling a story, and standing out from the crowd.

If you need to make noise about the launch of a new product or service…

  • Consider working with local media and community events where you are at launch time, first catching the attention of your existing neighbors and audience who are already ready to understand and hear your message. Also consider defining an audience that you can build through digital or social ads, if you’re targeting a new market.

If you want to improve conversions with your sales team…

  • Storytelling is always an effective sales marketing strategy. Make sure your sales team is aware of success stories, customer feedback, and relevant industry experience. I heard that randomly dropping by with a box of donuts might not be enough anymore…

These are just a few examples and while, yes, a bigger budget can help you reach those goals faster, starting today is never a bad option.

Take the time to figure out what your goals are when fundraising or determine that you’re in the right position to spend on marketing before you burn out and search Google for help.

No doubt you won’t run out of people who would be happy to relieve you of your funds by engaging in what they do best, but make sure they are also aligned and understand what yours is first. objective with this investment.


If you have a burning marketing question you want answered, drop by. our practical form to submit your query anonymously and Sean could just answer it. And stay tuned to the Ask a Marketer series page for future articles and announcements.

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