Marketing: Expense or Investment? The Cost of Not Investing in Your Brand

Marketing: Expense or Investment? The Cost of Not Investing in Your Brand


Have you found you’ve neglected to invest in building your brand on social media or you haven’t sent out EDMS because a) you simply didn’t make the time or b) fired your marketing agency because you don’t need marketing. Is it an unnecessary expense? What is the cost of not investing in your brand?

As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Yet, for many brands, marketing, particularly those who run Mum and Pop business from the backyard shed or small to med business owners see it as  just another expense, rather than an investment.

“We’ve just got a big tax bill… “
“We haven’t made enough money to hire an agency this year.”
“We haven’t seen results from past marketing efforts.”
“We don’t have the budget for it right now.”
“We’re not sure if we’re ready for that type of commitment.”

Believe us, we’ve heard it all!

Marketing Expense or Investment?

The consequences of thinking of marketing as an expense can be dire. The truth is, a lack of investing in any marketing can lead to a vicious cycle. Brands that don’t invest in marketing struggle to reach new customers and generate brand awareness. This in turn can lead to decreased sales and ultimately, lower revenue. It’s a classic example of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

When you think about the big brands you know that have become household names like McDonalds. They don’t need to advertise, but they still do to keep your brand at the forefront of your mind.

According to a study by the Nielsen Company, on average, companies that invest in marketing see a 23% return on investment. Meanwhile, companies that don’t invest in marketing see only a 4% return on investment.

The benefits of marketing don’t stop at increased revenue. Investing in marketing can also lead to:

  • Improved brand recognition and reputation
  • Increased customer loyalty and retention
  • Better engagement with customers
  • Increased visibility in the marketplace

Case studies

Red Bull: Red Bull is a great example of a brand that has used marketing successfully to grow their brand. They have a unique brand positioning as the “world’s leading energy drink,” and they have used a mix of events, sponsorships, and content marketing to build their brand. Their innovative marketing strategies, such as Red Bull Stratos, have helped them reach new audiences and strengthen their brand image.

Airbnb: Airbnb is another brand that has successfully grown their brand. They have effectively used content marketing, such as their “Wanderlust” campaign, to build their brand and reach new audiences. They have also used events and sponsorships to strengthen their brand image and connect with customers.

A message to small business owners

So, if you’re a brand that sees marketing as an expense, it’s time to reconsider. Investing in marketing is an investment in your brand, your customers, and your future. To quote the famous comic, Groucho Marx, “I’ve got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it.” Don’t be that brand that beats itself over the head by not investing in marketing.

In conclusion, marketing is not just an expense, it’s an investment in your brand. Brands that don’t invest in marketing may see short-term savings, but in the long-term, they will miss out on increased revenue, improved brand recognition, and stronger customer relationships. Don’t be that brand that says, “I can’t afford marketing” at the end of the year. Invest in your future and make marketing a priority.

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