How much should you invest in marketing to drive growth?

by Alex Cleanthous - Get more articles like this sent to your email here


Predicting future performance is one of the most difficult things to do in marketing, especially when you’re trying to figure out how much to invest.

Sure, you can create a forecast based on a number of assumptions, but it’s probably not the best approach when you’re looking at scaling up.

So what’s a better way?

Hey, my name’s Alex Cleanthous, the director of strategy and innovation at Web Profits and today I’ll be sharing what I believe is a better way to think about how much to invest to really scale up your business.

Here’s the challenge …

If you want a company to tell you what results you can expect if you invest X dollars into marketing, I’m sure you’ll find a lot of them.

But, most of the time those predictions will be wrong because everything changes when you start executing on a strategy … and is that what you REALLY want?

Because here’s the thing … future prediction of performance does not take into account things like the competition, the capacity of your sales team and the different levels of lead quality, and the challenges that inevitably happen when you scale.

So, what’s a better approach then?

Well, at Web Profits we use the north star metric framework for every client we work with.

And rather, trying to predict what will happen each month—we identify just one metric that will have the biggest impact on growth for our clients.

That means we do everything that we can to grow that metric month-on-month.

Now it doesn’t mean we don’t have goals – because goals are what help us understand how we’re performing overall – but we’re not trying to ‘predict’ future performance… we’re trying to create it.

So what’s a better conversation to be had then, when it comes to how much to invest in digital marketing?

I’d start with defining your goal and then go about understanding what resources you need to achieve that goal.

Because the more you invest in your marketing team, the more time you’ll get invested in your campaigns, and the more time that team can spend on improving your north star metric.

So when you ask, what will I get if I invest “X’ vs ‘Y,” it’s a conversation about resources vs goals. It’s not about predictions.

And this is something that is important for every business to consider before they choose to invest in digital marketing to drive growth.

Over to you, how much should you invest in growth marketing?

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Director of Strategy + Innovation at Web Profits
Alex Cleanthous is Director of Strategy + Innovation at Web Profits. With more than 17 years experience in the digital space, Alex is responsible for ensuring that Web Profits stays at the forefront of digital strategy and execution. With offices in Australia, Singapore and the United States, Alex focuses on driving growth across all regions, as well as identifying and expanding into new markets and new industries. Alex lives, loves and breathes strategic design thinking and bringing innovative solutions to life through end-to-end implementation.

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2 responses to “How much should you invest in marketing to drive growth?”

  1. Steve says:

    Any tips on selecting your north star metric Alex?

    You’re looking smart by the way !

    • Alex Cleanthous says:

      Figure out what the most important number or metric is, that will have the biggest impact (negative / positive) on your company’s success. Read the book Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis – it goes into this in a lot more detail. And thanks for the feedback 🙂

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