A business owner has a lot of different things demanding their attention, and among the considerations of things to do to keep your business healthy and thriving one question that may come to mind is how much time should be spent on marketing? After all, marketing is the key activity that brings customers through the door.
That said, clearly, not all of your time can be reasonably dedicated to marketing.
How much time, then, is appropriate to spend on marketing activities? That depends a lot on your specific business. Not every operation is the same. However, depending on a few factors which we’re going to cover shortly, you should probably devote 10 to 30 percent of all your time towards marketing.
That said, there’s a bit more to it than a mere number of hours.
Identifying Strengths And Weaknesses In Your Current Marketing Strategy
Before you start scheduling marketing hours, take a moment to look at your current marketing strategy. You will probably identify a few gaps, a few things that you don’t do or don’t do as well as other things.
For instance, say a real estate agent has a healthy following on social media and gets a good amount of leads from print and other advertisements, but a competitor is getting far more web traffic and their site content is laughably out of date. That’s an obvious gap in that real estate agent’s marketing efforts.
Or, perhaps, let’s say a person running an online business selling gardening tools has a wildly successful content marketing strategy. Blog posts are shared all over the internet and the videos they produce get a lot of traction. At the content game, this site is crushing it. However, their social media account has no followers and they can’t rank online to save their lives.
Clearly, these two hypothetical companies have identifiable weaknesses, but also identifiable strengths. By doing a bit of SWOT analysis, this will tell you what areas of marketing you’re vulnerable in and what areas you’re strong in.
Should You Outsource Your Marketing
If you can contemplate outsourcing, then it can be a viable strategy for overcoming marketing gaps. If you know what you’re lacking, that tells you at least what kind of marketing firm you need to bring in.
The real estate agent in the above example could use a content refresh and help with their website optimization. The other hypothetical business owner could likewise use some help with SEO and also with social media. While these examples are, purely hypothetical – there is far more to marketing, after all – those are typical weaknesses in some businesses’ marketing efforts that people outsource to external marketing agencies.
When to Hire A Marketing Agency
If you can afford to hire a marketing agency to do these tasks for you, then do it.
However, there’s another side to outsourcing. By delegating what you aren’t necessarily best at to a contractor, that frees you up to focus on what it is that you actually do well and budget appropriate time for it. If you aren’t in a position to outsource, you can also start proportioning time between the marketing activities you already do well and those you need to improve on.
In short, how much you’ll specifically need to spend on marketing activities depends on an economy of scale, one that you’ll have to determine for yourself.
However, what’s a good rule of thumb?
Plan To Spend 10 to 30 Hours Per Week On Marketing Activities
Presuming your workweek is between 50 to 60 hours – because few people work 40 hours anymore – then you should plan to spend anywhere from 10 to 30 hours per week on marketing activities. Again, this depends a whole lot on an economy of scale; your business is unique, so the exact demands that you’ll have on your time are entirely unique to you.
That said, many business owners and managers find somewhere between one-fifth to half of their time is spent on marketing activities. Based on a 50 to 60 hour work week, that’s somewhere between 10 and 30 hours.
Some consultants will advocate a ratio of 60-30-10 when it comes to business activities. 60 percent of efforts are spent on marketing, 30 percent on production, networking and other activities related to your product or service, and 10 percent of time spent on administration.
Again, your mileage may vary, so to speak, but 10 to 30 hours per week is a good rule of thumb.