What should I spend on Digital Marketing?

02 Mar 2017 / by James Pellizzi in Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing pricing can vary.  Your Marketing Department has bodies. Able bodies. Smart bodies. Can they handle the strategic vision and technical execution of Digital Marketing? All the while executing their other tasks? You may need to bring in some outside expertise, added horsepower or sounding boards.

Depending on your selections, the total could be as low as $30,000 or closer to $500,000+ on the high end over one year.

You have options when it comes to the type of service provider you select:

Independent Consultant and Small Shop: This includes 1 or 2 people working on your account. You’ll get well rounded individuals with a wide range of expertise. Expect very personal service. Expect a more relaxed build with your internal team being very hands on.

Mid Size Agency: This includes 3-5 people working on your account. You will get a regimented plan and specific experts in each topic, such as Search Engine Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Content Strategy, etc. Prices are a higher because you’re paying for more people and their associated knowledge.

Consulting Partner: You’re paying for perfection and you will get it. The consulting companies have smart and sometimes endless resources. You will have access to any topic you can think of. You will get a turnkey solution setup and running from day one that WILL yield results. Expect intensity. Training doesn’t come until after the build and could last a little longer.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $10,000 – $50,000
  • Consulting Partner: $50,001 +

Why you need it: Most processes fail because the organization as a whole doesn’t understand it’s benefits. Define what this will do for your organization. Chart out Objectives, Foundational Activities that identify the people/processes/technologies needed for success, chart out Quick Wins and what Full Maturity looks like. The company’s that are most successful get buy in on this road map from their Executive Team and communicate it through their entire organization. The last part can be fun.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $5,000 – $20,000
  • Consulting Partner: $20,001 +

Why you need it: All platforms sell hard. An independent party will give you their unbiased opinion on what is best for your organization. They can coordinate demo’s and feature/benefit presentations from vendors.

PLATFORM COST: $2,000 – $30,000 +

What are you goals? Are you sending a newsletter to 100 people? MailChimp will do that at a low cost. Are you planning to connect social media, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing and personalizing websites to generate brand awareness? You’ll need a bigger, more expensive platform like Pardot, Marketo or Eloqua..to name a few. Another determining factor is the size of your contact database. If you’re going to have over 10,000 contacts right off the bat, add on another one or two dollars per extra contact.

Why you need it: True Marketing Automation is just that…automated. You need a platform that can do that with ease.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $10,000 – $20,000
  • Consulting Partner: $20,001 +

Why you need it: Once you select the platform, they all come with a checklist to get started. Keep momentum. The hard part isn’t setting up the platform, it’s using it. Protect your Administrator’s time and energy.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $10,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $10,000 – $30,000
  • Consulting Partner: $30,001 +

This is the most critical step. As soon as the platform is setup, pivot to creating campaigns as outlined in the Quick Win section of the roadmap. Companies that use the platform right away have a better chance at realizing true Marketing Automation. Professional branding, content strategy and technical execution gaurentee this. One’s that wait or putz around with sending out a newsletter four times a year lose momentum.

Why you need it: Added Horsepower. Your Administrator’s will become directly involved, but you need immediate results to keep credibility in your organization. Pay for the execution to ensure momentum.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Consulting Partner: $10,000 +

Why you need it: The first year should see the process implemented and executed by a third party with expertise and experience in doing so. As the year progresses, plan to transition over to the internal team. This includes training and documentation. Sometimes an administrator needs a like minded individual to use as a sounding board.

As with anything, you get what you pay for.


Sign up for our newsletter!

Includes a customer spotlight, employee spotlight, our most recent blog, and a digital marketing tip.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: