How To Set A Marketing Budget (And What To Include)

MarketingSmall and medium-size businesses often wonder how much they should spend on marketing plans. This can be a tough question for seasoned businesses, and even tougher for startups.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating how much you should spend, BroadBased can offer you some guidelines. One thing to note is B2C (business-to-consumer) budgets are generally higher than B2B (business-to-business) because reaching the much wider B2C audience typically involves higher costs for advertising. B2B budgets are often lower due to smaller target audiences and sleeker niche-marketing solutions.

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) define the variable for a proper marketing budget to be between 2 percent and 10 percent of sales, noting that the total for B2C, retail and pharmaceuticals can exceed 20 percent during peak brand-building years. As an example, at 5 percent of gross, a company with $3 million in revenues would consider allocating $150,000 a year for marketing.

Nailing down a number

Although many companies determine their marketing budgets as a percent of gross revenue, that doesn’t mean they pick an arbitrary number within the recommended range. So how do you arrive at a percentage that’s right for you?

Often, the percentage is determined by industry and size, so it’s smart to reach out to industry associations for benchmarking information. Additionally, many CPAs subscribe to research software and may be able to help you with your industry information.

What items belong in the marketing budget?

The fictional $150,000 budget set for a company with $3 million in revenues might sound like a lot initially, but not when you consider all that goes into it. The budget will support in-house marketing salaries, agency and public relations fees, media buys, printing, mailing, postage, trade shows, memberships, website, and more. The costs add up quickly. SCORE provides a handy worksheet on its website to help you tally the numbers and make sure you aren’t surprised by something you overlooked.

Regardless of how you arrive at the final figure for your marketing budget, it must be one that realistically supports your sales plan and generates an appropriate return on investment. Depending on corporate goals, your budget may be 4 percent this year and 8 percent next year. And if you are new to the marketplace, you have to spend more aggressively to establish your business objectives.

CEO Jan Hirabayashi has more than 10 years of experience designing marketing plans for clients with budgets from $50,000 to $2 million. Email Jan to start collaborating on your 2016 marketing plan.

2015 is Half Over. Do You Know Where Your Leads Are?

CRMWe’re often asked how to measure the success of individual marketing efforts, either traditional or online. It seems to be a simple enough question, and the simplest answer can be to track the number of leads generated by the campaign. If the end game of your marketing campaign is to generate a large number of leads, that might be the end of the story. But, the ultimate objective of a marketing campaign isn’t just generating leads it’s increasing sales.

And that’s where the tracking question gets more complex. “Extracting the greatest value from each lead requires sophisticated tools for tracking digital marketing leads based on the funnel and desired outcome,” said Chris Ramaglia, EVP of BroadBased. “We believe that best way to track and close Web-generated leads is by understanding and exploiting the capabilities of an effective customer relationship management (CRM) tool.”

But what if you don’t have a CRM or don’t fully understand the capability of the one that you use?

“Our clients realize that the online environment is extremely competitive, and every lead we’re able to generate through their website is a piece of gold,” said Ramaglia. “If a client doesn’t have an existing CRM, we recommend one that’s a good fit for how they do business and help them make sure that every lead is accounted for and has the best chance of closing.”

CRM systems come in all shapes and sizes, but the good ones have three main components in common:

  1.    Easy-to-use dashboard-style view of all leads and their statuses.
  2.    Automated follow-up tasks and reminders.
  3.    Website analytics integration.

Ever since social media has changed the way we use the Internet, people have come to expect extremely user-friendly interfaces. The same is true for CRM systems. Speed is crucial for sales reps who need to quickly find and efficiently manage key sales data. Like just about every modern interface, leading CRM tools offer smart device and tablet displays, so deals stay hot no matter how they’re being viewed.

A good CRM tool is a salesperson’s best assistant. By enabling the salesperson to set up advanced reminders, create automated follow-ups, document every phone call and email on any lead in the system — and much more — the CRM can be a highly cost-effective part of your team’s sales efforts.

These powerful automation features don’t just help your reps, they also make your managers’ and executives’ jobs easier. All members of the organization can have their own permission levels to instantly access real-time snapshots of all leads in the system. They can also filter the leads by any criterion that are important to their role in the business.

Think of your website as a highway and your leads as the vehicles travelling down it. All the vehicles need to be registered, and they need to stay in their lanes to keep the traffic flowing. Similarly, your leads need to be cataloged and stored securely to give you the best chance to close them. Now, suppose you were able to know something about why each vehicle was on the road and where it was heading. That brings us to the next level of capability for extracting the full value of your leads — analytics integration.

It wasn’t long ago that the only lead-generation tools on a website were a contact number and a form that could be filled out by the prospect and emailed to the sales team. Now, form leads are deposited into a secure database and every move the prospect makes on your website and throughout the Web can be tracked using cookies and other advanced mechanisms, giving you valuable insight into what each lead is looking for and why.

To further support your efforts, Google now offers unique phone numbers that can be applied to specific online marketing efforts, such as Adwords, and email marketing campaigns. Everything is seamlessly tracked within your CRM, effectively “closing the loop” from a prospect’s first interaction with your website right up until the moment they sign your contract.

As the technology that powers digital marketing evolves, your company’s Web presence needs to evolve with it or risk being left behind by more innovative competitors. The digital marketing team at BroadBased can help you hand-pick a CRM solution that’s a perfect fit for your business to start growing your sales funnel. Email Chris Ramaglia to start the conversation.

Building Community With MAA

220RiversideBroadBased has partnered with Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE: MAA) since early 2014, spearheading the social media promotion and day-to-day community management for 220 Riverside Apartments in Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood. The page currently has more than 4,200 “Likes” and targeted Facebook ad campaigns have driven more than 7,000 leads to the MAA leasing website.

“We are very pleased with the results that BroadBased continues to generate for 220 Riverside Apartments and other MAA communities,” said Diane Gilmore, Marketing Development Director, VP at MAA. “The content management they provide on Facebook ensures a consistent, professional tone to our customers, and the targeted ad campaigns drive a significant amount of traffic to our leasing websites.”

Learn more about the digital leads we generate for clients through social media, content marketing, SEO and online advertising on our website.

They do all that? The JAX Chamber Foundation steps out


BroadBased partnered with the JAX Chamber Foundation to plan, design and develop a new website for the organization. The website launched in May.

A common dilemma of foundations affiliated with larger organizations is whether to rely on the larger group’s website to tell their story or to create a stand-alone Web presence. The answer is often determined by the foundation’s involvement in program delivery, as opposed to focusing primarily on fundraising.

For JAX Chamber Foundation President Sandy Bartow, the choice was clear. Bartow identified a need to raise awareness of the Foundation’s dynamic, wide-ranging initiatives by creating a separate website that reflects the breadth and depth of its mission.

Founded in 1978 and serving all of Northeast Florida, the Foundation funds community leadership, workforce development and entrepreneurial education programs in support of long-term regional prosperity. Its initiatives include the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center and its programs, such as Marketing Matters and Financial Matter$ for women business owners; the Small Business Center’s micro enterprise certification program, including Achieve Your Business Dream workshops; the Earn Up workforce development program to increase the region’s college attainment; Global Cities Initiative to boost exporting; JAX Bridges; Leadership Matters; and more.

Bartow’s vision was to create a website that not only raised awareness of this diversity of high-impact programs, but also comprehensively presented participation, volunteer and partnership opportunities.


Sandy Bartow President, JAX Chamber Foundation Vice President, Entrepreneurial Growth, JAX Chamber

To turn the vision into reality, the Foundation chose BroadBased.

“Working with Jan and her team was a great experience,” said Bartow, who is also vice president of Entrepreneurial Growth for the JAX Chamber. “Their insights on the creation of our website, driven by hard questions and thoughtful consideration of sharing our story, was engaging and resulted in a site we are thrilled to launch.”

Please visit to learn about the Foundation’s mission, programs, volunteer opportunities and long list of corporate and individual supporters.

Family ties: CSI Healthcare IT strengthens Web presence

Image of

BroadBased launched a new responsive website for in May.

Speaking of diversity, CSI Healthcare IT, a division of The CSI Companies and Recruit Co. LTD — the fifth largest staffing company in the world — also recently turned to BroadBased to update the look, content and functionality of its website. This site marks the third website BroadBased has created in partnership with the company. Additional websites developed for the organization’s portfolio of brands include and

CSI Healthcare IT deploys experienced information technology professionals across the country to help organizations create, enable and maintain patient and health information systems. The project team wanted to reinforce the company’s biggest assets, including their expert talent, proven processes and nationwide coverage. These goals were accomplished by focusing content in each of those areas and adding a new suite of case studies and video testimonials.

Similar to the JAX Chamber and JAX Chamber Foundation relationship, The CSI Companies’ Web presence illustrates an effective approach to creating multiple sites around a strong central brand.

Content Marketing: You’re reading some right now

Content Marketing

One of the most cost-effective ways to generate new leads, up-sell into your existing customer base, and retain current clients is through smart and creative content marketing. We’ve been producing the BroadCast since 2005! (Search our archives on our blog.)

Crafting and distributing interesting, valuable and dynamic media and content on a regular basis allows you to showcase everything that sets your company apart, including:

  • Unique value propositions
  • Competitive differentiators
  • Personalization of key personnel

One of the main reasons for this is because today’s Internet users are being exposed to more electronic media and information than ever. It’s turned quality content into a premium commodity, and leading companies are capitalizing on this trend in very creative ways.


Chris Ramaglia, BroadBased’s Executive Vice President, oversees digital strategy and online projects for the firm.

“Our clients want what they’ve always wanted, more leads and more business. What’s changed is what we do to help them achieve that,” said Chris Ramaglia, BroadBased EVP.

“We’re helping them find the best possible way to deliver their key messages to their audience the way they want to hear it… with fun, engaging content.”

These days, boring content gets ignored, and businesses are turning to more innovative means to deliver their messages. Instead of launching a new product or service with a new page on your website, why not present it with a video that can be shared on social media? It’s working well for Apple.

Rather than a standard online brochure to highlight product features, how about an infographic that makes them the star of the show with eye-popping visuals in an easy-to-understand format? It’s helped Ford outsell the competition for decades.

And it’s not just for global tech giants and century-old automotive empires. All businesses can take advantage of content marketing because it’s rooted in what makes any marketing technique effective: results.

As the amount of research that potential customers perform before hiring a company continues to grow, so will the need for content marketing. According to a recent study by The Aquity Group, over 90% of all business-to-business buyers research purchase decisions online. In many cases, the first experience a potential customer will have with your organization begins online with some form of your content. Are you confident it’s enough for them to make contact?

If not, it’s time to work with BroadBased on a comprehensive content marketing strategy that fits your budget and grows your bottom line. Give Chris Ramaglia a call at 904-398-7279 X17 to get started.

Introducing Chris Ramaglia, Executive Vice President

Chris Ramaglia, BroadBased Executive Vice President

Chris Ramaglia, BroadBased Executive Vice President

Chris Ramaglia joined BroadBased Communications on April 1 in the role of executive vice president. Chris brings to the firm 15 years of experience in business development and digital project management. As EVP (a position we created just for him, so you know he’s gotta be good), Chris will develop and oversee integrated digital strategies for BroadBased clients.

Jan Hirabayashi, CEO, says, “As I contemplated my vision for BroadBased over the next 10 years, it became clear that we needed a highly experienced and technologically savvy individual on the team. Chris’ past experience and his expert grasp of digital strategies in a fast-paced and ever-changing industry is impressive. It was obvious to me that he was the person I was looking for.”

Please join us in welcoming Chris to the BroadBased team.


Google to Companies: No Mobile Site, No Top Rankings

Smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming the new standard for Web browsing. We’ve gone from hoping that a website will display well on our mobile devices to expecting it. And, now, so does Google.

The search engine giant has updated its algorithm to detect whether websites are

If your website meets Google’s new mobile standards, search results performed on your mobile device will label your website Mobile-friendly.

If your website meets Google’s new mobile standards, search results performed on your mobile device will label your website Mobile-friendly.

mobile-friendly and penalize those that aren’t. Sites that don’t meet Google’s new standards will be moved down in its search rankings.

How do you know where you stand? Google has released a tool to determine within a few seconds whether your site meets its mobile compatibility requirements. Simply enter your website address into the search bar on this page and click “analyze”: Google Mobile-friendly Tool

If the analysis determines your site is “Not mobile-friendly,” talk with the BroadBased team before you lose any more valuable traffic. Even if you get a congratulatory “Awesome!” there are other important factors to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of websites in the mobile world. BroadBased has experts in all forms of mobile advertising who can customize the perfect strategy for your specific goals and budget.

Potential customers who Google your products and services click first on companies that appear highest on the search list — and they stick around on sites that are quick to load and easy to navigate. So even if they find you in the Google results, they’re not likely to become customers if they have trouble using your site.

“When it comes to mobile we take the same approach as we do to traditional digital advertising; it’s all about results,” said Chris Ramaglia, BroadBased EVP. “From determining who we want to target and what devices they’re likely to be using, all the way through analytics and tracking. Our strategies are absolutely unique based on what will get our partners the most out of our campaigns.”

One of the key components to marketing success on today’s mobile Web is speed. When people are searching online from a smartphone or tablet they typically have even less patience for delays than on a laptop or desktop computer. Bottom line: even if your website ranks well on Google, if it takes too long to load on a mobile device your customers won’t wait.

Whether your website passed the mobile-friendly test with flying colors or it failed to make the cut, BroadBased is here to help. To find out more about how we can help you reach all your mobile customers on all their different devices, give Chris Ramaglia a call at (904) 398-7279 X17.