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The worst way to spend on digital marketing

social, digital, marketing, apps, mobile

Businesses can drastically improve their returns on paid marketing spend by avoiding a simple but all-too-common mistake, an in-bound marketing specialist has claimed.

That mistake, according to Matthew Howells-Barby of HubSpot, is taking an ad hoc approach to spending.

“People waste lots of small amounts of money on paid content,” he said during a presentation in Sydney.


According to Mr Howells-Barby, many SMEs think they have small marketing costs by only paying for small amounts of advertising and content at a time. But he said that each of these small outgoings quickly adds up to a substantial pot of money.

“Facebook has made it so easy to spend money on its platform,” he said.

Mr Howells-Barby suggested allocating a decent amount of money to marketing each year in the business’ budget, and then keeping tabs of that spend, to keep track of these outgoings.

But to ensure maximum return on investment, he said it is important to know what the long-term goals are from this marketing. It can almost be addictive to simply throw cash at marketing channels without fully understanding what you are hoping to achieve.

Organic content can be a useful means of building profile and brand awareness, with paid content working alongside this to push more immediate sales results, he suggested.

According to commerce marketing firm Criteo, paid display advertising was the most popular form of marketing spend by businesses in 2017, with digital marketing now comprising almost 90 per cent of all marketing spend.



Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The worst way to spend on digital marketing
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