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Established 2009

How Much Does Advertising Cost?

How much does advertising cost?

Most companies avoid answering this uncomfortable question directly. Not MindEcology. Here’s the straight-up answer: you should expect advertising to cost $500 to $10,000/month.

There, you have your answer to how much does advertising cost. But wait, you’re still here. I know, I know: what you really want to know is how much should YOU expect to spend on advertising your business?

Before we get into more specific numbers, here are some things to get straight before you jump into analyzing how much advertising costs.

Refresh your mental model

The money you spend on advertising should be seen as an investment, rather than a cost. Conventional wisdom dictates that you should be investing 3-5 percent of your revenue back into your business through advertising. But if you are truly seeing a return on your investment, why limit yourself?

Get realistic about your current situation, goals and knowledge of advertising

When prospects come to us, they can typically be fit into one of four types:

Pressured but indecisive: These companies are feeling pressured to advertise. They have a vague sense that they should be advertising, but they haven’t the foggiest idea as to which strategies or tactics they should be investing in. They have trouble committing to almost any course of action long-term. They don’t trust their own judgment and they don’t ultimately trust their advertising partners, vendors or advisors, either. They are typically fans of bright and shiny objects or “something I read the other day” or “something a friend told me over coffee.” The result: they tend to dabble eternally, moving from one partner – or tactic – to another in an aimless walk.

Urgent and ready: Companies in this group are looking for a quick boost in traffic in the short term – and maybe longer. They have some cash to spend and are hoping for a quick, near-guaranteed investment. They will typically say things like, “If I spend X, how much can I expect to earn in sales as a direct result?” They see advertising as a machine, an algorithm. They tend to budget for 3-6 months and hope to reinvest resulting revenues back into advertising. These companies tend to see the advertiser as the “god of traffic” or “pied piper of profits” and often expect the advertiser to work in a silo. “Bring me the sales, soon” they are thinking.

Steady growth seekers: These folks seek steady, organic growth. Their business is generally healthy, so pressure is low. They know they can take time to slow down and do marketing the right way. These companies often already have a sense of which advertising channels they are interested in pursuing and are looking for an experienced partner to realize their intentions. They are in it for the long-term and they are probably going to choose a set of marketing tactics and stick with them.

Strategically-minded: Companies in this category intend to take a truly strategic approach to marketing. They understand that there is no quick fix to choosing the right marketing or advertising tactic. They have dollar signs in their eyes like everyone else, but they know that research, data and careful planning make the difference between success and mediocrity.

Of course, each of these types is a caricature. But 98% of our past and current clients fit somewhere into one of these buckets.

Factors that play into your ideal advertising budget

  • Do you have the time and resources to do some research before you get started?
  • Do you want to invest in long-term, organic growth, get immediate traffic, or follow a blended strategy?
  • Do you already know which tactics you would like to use or are you open to strategic direction?
  • If you are driving traffic to a website, does the site have a proven track record of converting traffic to sales, leads, appointments, calls and/or downloads?

And, of course, the all-important….

  • What is your available budget?

Finally, the numbers

While the amount you spend will vary significantly based upon the above-mentioned factors, here is what you should expect to spend each month during year 1, by the type of company you are:

Pressured but indecisive: Spend whatever you like, but don’t spend it with MindEcology. We’re not the agency for you. We truly wish you the best.

Urgent and ready: $1,000 to $3,000 in setup and creative fees, then $1,500 to $3,000/month

Steady growth seekers: $700 to $2,000 in up-front SEO/content research, then $500 to $1,000/month

Strategically-minded: $3,000 to $8,000 in customer profiling research and/or audits, $1,000 to $4,000 in setup and creative fees, then $1,500 to $5,000/month

We give straight answers. If you’d like even more, then contact us today to get straight answers from MindEcology.