Startups and SMEs, are you spending enough on your digital marketing?

Let’s kick things off with the 40 per cent rule; this is when your mind is telling you that you’re done…you feel worn out like an old pair of Mo Farah’s socks after a 5000m run, that you can’t possibly go on another second, but in actual fact, you’re only at 40% of what you can give.

The human mind is both amazing and confusing; it can be the muscle that propels us forward and the force that holds us back. 

This (40%) rule can be applied to business practice too, which made me wonder just how many of us are being held back from propelling our businesses forward by our budgets…or our minds?

Looking at marketing and then within that, the digital part of our strategies, my guess is that most of you are only operating at 40% of your digital marketing effort (there or thereabouts) and that you think, “that’ll do”. Whether or not it’s enough is directly relative to the market your business rests in and your growth goals. In this digital era, your competitors are likely doing more than 40%; more small business and startups are seeing the value of time and dedication to their digital marketing tactics.

Of 1000 startup businesses surveyed this year, 78% stated that they wanted to invest more in digital marketing; 73% wanted to spend more on their social media, and 57% wanted to increase their investment in email marketing.

Startups or leaders of marketing teams for multimillion-pound businesses, the patterns of behaviour are the same; a more substantial part of marketing budgets are being placed in the digital pot, “Marketers and advertisers are putting 13.5% of their budget into mobile ads, and to put this one action in perspective, mobile ad spend exceeded $190 billion in 2019 on a worldwide scale. It’s projected to hit more than 280 billion dollars by 2022.”

Why? Because these companies want to see and keep seeing those results. Expecting to see outcomes from ‘half-assed’ marketing efforts and minuscule digital budgets is like hoping to win a 100m sprint against Usain Bolt on a gravel track (in a polka dot dress!) without any trainers on – apologies for all the running tropes.

The proof is in the digital pudding, my friends, Email marketing has an average return rate of $41 for every $1 spent”“Video content in emails can improve click-through rates by up to 300%, I can go on…

My point is if you want to grow your business, your strategy needs to include a substantial effort towards digital marketing. Taking this approach can create a level playing field for small businesses to compete against ‘the big cheeses’ in their sector, when done right. An organic process is great, but thats going to take longer round the running track after ‘downing’ five red bulls than you after you’ve run an ultramarathon and even then, it ain’t gonna gain much speed.

If you’re preparing to run some digital campaigns without the support of a marketing expert and no experience of past activities, start by running some tests. Collect the data, look for patterns and then keep doing more of what works.

You also need to think carefully about which channels are right for your business as well as;

  1. Clearly defining the results you want to achieve from these actions
  2. Learning to identify where to increase investment and how often by keeping tabs on the analytics
  3. Knowing and understanding who your audience is and tailoring and refining your message to ensure it resonates with them
  4. Ensuring your campaigns fit your brand, your tone of voice and that all actions taken are consistent.

Back to running (sorry, not sorry!)…If you want to take your company to the next level, get out those Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2’s, or whatever your feet feel awesome in, and get training. You need to put in the graft, focus on the goal, show dedication, commitment and put in 100% to see results.

There’s a reason you’ll never hear a pro athlete say they have given their best when they haven’t, and you should feel the same way about your business.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and, most of all, love of what you are doing.” – Pele

If this article sparked a change or curiosity in you, to review your digital marketing but you have no idea where to start, please get in touch. I’d love to work with you and support you through the process. Drop me an email –

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At Koala we are about more than just numbers. We are people driven, passionate and keen to educate and lead others into sustainable and eco-friendly futures. Working with us will help your business to streamline marketing actions into measurable results using our effective smart marketing services.