Modern Marketing 101: How Much Should I Spend On My Web Site?

by Randy Murray on June 16, 2014

It’s still a struggle for many businesses, some of them very large businesses, to understand how to budget for a web and online marketing strategy.

When I consult with businesses I use this simple rule of thumb: spend as much on your web site as you would on your flagship retail location.

Not all businesses have retail stores, but their marketing executives seem to understand that analogy. If you consider your web site and all of the activities around as if they were the primary physical location where people find you, and maybe even buy from you, it becomes easier to plan and budget properly.

And it gets a lot of the amateur web crap out of the way, too.

For example, yes, I know that your nephew Marvin can put together a web site for fifty bucks. Good for Marvin. But you wouldn’t pay Marvin $50 to design your retail store, would you?

If you were planning a true flagship location you’d pick out prime real-estate and budget for it. You’d hire professional, experienced, retail designers to create a unique space, perfectly aligned with your brand and your customers’ needs. You’d carefully select the space layout, the colors, and shape the experience. And then you’d fill it with trained, helpful staff filled with the answers to every potential question.

And you wouldn’t try and do it in just a few weeks. You’d plan for months, and then build, test, tweak, and launch months down the line.

I’m sorry, but you should know by now that you can’t get off cheap with your web site. It will be expensive. It will need to be ever changing, with new content every day. It will need a full redesign every three to five years. It should be the centerpiece of everything that you do from a marketing perspective.

Online marketing may have been sold as something cheap and easy. It’s not cheap and it’s not easy. But it can be very, very effective. And doing online marketing poorly or sloppily will hurt you and cripple your other marketing efforts.

Do it right. Start planning and budgeting with that flagship store in mind.


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