Marketing Budgets

A Call for Research Participants

In our work with small, rapidly-growing clients, we have noticed a lack of benchmarks for marketing spend as they evolve from ‘idea to IPO.’ There are some great resources out there for large public companies to gauge themselves and stay up to date with spending trends. Reports from Forrester, Gartner, and IDC are incredibly valuable resource points and we would recommend them to anyone looking for help in creating a marketing budget. However, while these reports provide excellent data and are grand in scope, we feel that they are underserving a very important market. They lack data on high-growth, smaller, fast-paced companies. In other words, startups. We are aiming to solve that. We have set out to field a research study specifically targeted to inform “Pre-IPO”, “Pre-Exit” companies. This is important because startups are different. Year-to-year there is a tremendous amount of change. The current resources available to startup marketing leaders when trying to benchmark their spend are failing to capture that and this report will provide them with more reliable and targeted data that is actionable.

Our report will outline marketing budget trends and spend benchmarks of the startup universe. We are beginning by conducting a brief survey that will break down spend by industry, company size, and company stage. We will then further analyze spend trends by tactics and learn about what strategies might be helping companies meet their revenue targets. This research will be conducted in manner that puts the legitimacy of the data and privacy of our participants in the highest regard. As such, we’ve structured the research to be “double-blind” – thus eliminating the ability to trace specific answers back to individual participants or companies.

We are currently fielding participants for the research and are looking to include as many as we can in the final report. In exchange for participation, all of those involved will receive an advance copy of the final report, which we plan to publish by the end of the year. If you are interested, we ask that you please fill-out this quick sign-up form and pass along to anyone else you think might be interested. We will follow-up with those who fill-out the sign-up form and they can expect to receive the actual survey link from us within the week. If you or someone you know would like more information, please drop a note to me, Richard Dolezalek at or my colleague, John Volkmann at