Randy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

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How Much Should You Spend on Sales & Marketing?

 The Corporate Marketing and Sales Spend Landscape infographic

The Corporate Marketing and Sales Spend Landscape is an infographic about publicly traded companies and how much revenue they spend on sales & marketing. The general rule of thumb, based off of a 2014 Gartner Research study, is that a company should invest 10% of their revenue into marketing. However, a 2014 CMO survey, published by the American Marketing Association and Duke University, came to find that the 10% rule isn't true for all types of companies.

This infographic from Vital is a representation of those findings and shows how much each business style actually spends on marketing. 

Determining the affect of marketing on a company’s growth is not black and white. There are many factors that combine to create a successful and growing business. However, without marketing and sales a company gets very little, if any, promotion or exposure, meaning the chances of growth are slim to none. This is a well-known fact among marketers, evident in the amount of dollars successful corporations allocate towards sales and marketing every year. In 2014, Microsoft, Cisco, Quest Diagnostics, Intel, Salesforce, Constant Contact, LinkedIn, Marketo, Bottomline Technologies, Marin Software, IDEXX Laboratories, Tempur Sealy, Tableau and Twitter among many more all had marketing and sales budgets that were greater than 14% of revenue, some spending as much as 50%! All of these companies also grew year-over-year.

So, how does a company determine how much of their budget to spend on marketing? We decided to look at a handful of some of the most successful large and mid-sized companies across a range of industries to find out how much they allocate for marketing and what they get in return.

Read more at https://vtldesign.com

The order the companies are listed is confusing. There's doesn't seem to be any reasoning behind the sequence. It's not marketing spend dollars or percentage, or total revenue, or revenue growth YOY or even alphabetical.

It's not clear that the orange number shown for each company is the marketing spend dollars, not total revenue. The orange color-coordination with the doughnut chart implies that, but it should be more obvious.

I also think they meant to imply a connection between marketing spend and revenue growth, but that connection is not obvious in the infographic. The revenue growth in gray text-only looks like an afterthought.

Great source citations in the footer. They should also include a copyright statement and the URL link directly to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original full-size version.

This is also a good example of the Fair Use of trademarked logos to report comparisons between the various companies.

Found on Marketing Profs

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Reader Comments (4)

I read in an article that the amount spent on gathering Sales leads will increase in the coming years. Is it because there are more and more advanced tools like Rapportive, Datanize, Aeroleads etc., coming up which will significantly improve their conversions or companies are finding it more difficult to generate their own leads by using organic ways rather than paying for such ready tools?
November 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLasha
You didn't mention this, but looking at the pie charts, many of them do not properly display the percentage that is listed. Marin - 48% has a smaller pie slice than Constant Contact - 38% and neither accurately display their values.
November 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
You're right Rachel. A number of the doughnut charts don't match the values. Accuracy is the most important aspect when designing data visualizations and error like this hurt the company's credibility.

Bottomline Technologies at 24% has a doughnut that shows something around 35% shown. The designer obvious copied and pasted the doughnut multiple times for the design, and never corrected all of them.
November 6, 2015 | Registered CommenterRandy
Read in an article that the amount spent on gathering sales leads will increase in the coming years
May 25, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjennai
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