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24 Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget Next Quarter

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24 Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget Next Quarter

Whether you have use-it-or-lose-it funds left over from the last quarter or are putting together a marketing budget for the first time, it’s valuable to know which strategies will offer the highest ROI.

Click here to download 8 free marketing budget templates.

These 24 ideas cover content, advertising, social media, SEO, and lots more.

1. Test new versions of calls-to-action that are performing poorly.

Estimated cost: $50 per call-to-action

This test helps you identify the best ways to move prospects further along in their buying journey. To implement CTA testing, sort CTAs by click rate and conversion rate in your analytics software.

Next, redesign the ones with the lowest performance and test them. One way to do this is by performing an A/B test, which will show you which design your audience prefers.

Friendbuy improved call-to-action (CTA) clickthrough rate by 211% with A/B testing, for example.

Friendbuy’s A/B testing

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A simple design change like choosing a different photo, or tweaking the wording to connect with leads can convert more visitors.

2. Invest in user experience insight tools to monitor user behavior.

Estimated cost: $150

User experience insight tools help you see how your audience interacts with your website. You’ll learn if they’re scrolling deep enough to find your beautifully designed CTA. You may even learn that your CTA button isn’t working — a good explanation for low conversion rates!

Here’s an example: Charli, a web designer, discovered that one of her product pages only got a 0.9% conversion rate from 1,000 views.

When she monitored her page using Hotjar, she found that when visitors clicked the “Buy Now” button, they were taken to yet another “Buy Now” button, causing buyer friction.

Install heat map tracking software, like Hotjar or Crazy Egg, on your landing pages to uncover blockers and fix those.

For more marketing strategies, check out this episode of Marketing Against the Grain.

3. Revise landing page copy.

Estimated cost: $300 per page

Do you have landing pages with conversion rates of less than 15%? Rework the language and/or design so it’s tuned into your target persona’s needs.

You can use social media or industry-specific communities for research to understand your users’ pain points. Forums like Reddit can help too.

Make a post, asking your community how they feel about a topic. Or use a site:domain search to narrow down existing results in public communities.

Finding specific info about communities you want to market to

No matter what changes you make, it’s always a good idea to do A/B testing before you make them permanent.

4. Find SEO keyword opportunities on your website.

Estimated cost: $250

SEO keywords help you leverage search engines as a distribution channel for your content. Consider that Google processes approximately 5.6 billion searches per day — and that’s an important distribution channel for any business.

One of the ways to discover keyword opportunities you can pull traffic for is to look in the “results” section of your Search Console property. Scroll through the keywords to find keywords you’re ranking for without a dedicated page.

On one of my hobby sites, for example, I’m ranking for “support bands for apron belly” and “best pants for apron belly” — and I don’t have blog posts for either.

Using search console to find keywords to optimize for with your marketing budget

I could create blog posts on those keywords — or landing pages if they were landing page keywords — and start ranking right away.

Pro tip: Use HubSpot’s SEO Marketing Tools to monitor your SEO performance on auto. That way, you never miss an opportunity to optimize.

5. Do a social media engagement analysis.

Estimated cost: $250

There’s no point throwing money into marketing channels that don’t work when you can double down on those that do.

Audit your social media accounts and messages to reveal which platforms and messaging received the most meaningful engagement.

For example, you may find that TikTok generated more conversions for your business than Twitter. Once you have that information, you can prioritize marketing on TikTok while you figure out Twitter.

6. Conduct a usability test.

Estimated cost: $350

A usability test gives real feedback from potential customers. Similar to the results you get from a Net Promoter Score, you’ll figure out what customers like and don’t like about your web pages.

You’ll need a tool like Hotjar to run a usability test. Then you’ll need to:

  • Recruit participants from your target population. These could be your clients or website users who opt-in to participate in your test.
  • Assign representative tasks to participants.
  • Observe how the participants carry out the task.

From there, you can figure out how to revise the content on your website to be more user-friendly. For instance, if you find that your product pages aren’t easy to navigate, you can mark this as a task to work on for the next year.

7. Try ad retargeting to boost performance.

Estimated cost: $500

Retargeting ads give you another chance to show up in front of a previously interested lead with a new, personalized offer.

For example, I was on the Firstbase website the other day. Since then, I have gotten personalized ads that made me click to learn something new about them on social media.

Firstbase retargeting ads

Ad retargeting can give your acquisition numbers a boost. Look for ad retargeting options on social networks like Facebook, so you can build and revise ads within the channel.

8. Experiment with social media advertising.

Estimated cost: $500

Social media offers the ability to target very specific audiences and craft engaging messaging based on the pages they visit most with social media advertising.

You may want to try advertising if you’re already successful with different social media campaigns. It is possible to target your audience and promote a post to see if it gets more traffic. You can also test affordable ad retargeting choices like LinkedIn Sponsored updates.

9. Consider influencer marketing.

Estimated cost: $100 – $10,000

You may not have thousands of dollars in your budget. However, experimenting with influencer marketing does not necessarily come with a hefty price tag. If you have some wiggle room in your budget, you can partner with nano-influencers or micro-influencers.

Shopify estimates that nano-influencers, with 1,000 to 10,000 followers, charge up to $100 per post. Micro-influencers with 10,000-50,000 followers charge between $100 and $500 per post. oUser Report Data Here

If you don’t have an influencer strategy, it’s time to start setting the foundation. HubSpot research found that influencer marketing will continue to grow in 2023, reaching its highest ROI thus far.

Of marketers using influencer marketing, 89% will increase or maintain their investment next year.

10. Invest in employee knowledge.

Estimated cost: $500

Because marketing is an ever-changing industry, investing in learning opportunities makes your team well-equipped to excel in their day-to-day tasks. Training can come in the form of ebooks, blog posts, or webinars.

Additionally, scope out courses online that will give team members a deeper understanding of the industry.

For example, HubSpot Academy offers courses about content marketing, social media marketing, and sales, in digestible, interactive lessons. Courses update as needed, so you don’t have to worry about getting a certification for an outdated skill set.

Here’s a cross-section of just some of the courses in the academy.

Hubspot Academy

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11. Celebrate your success in the past quarter.

Estimated cost: $500

Remember to allocate some funds to celebrate your colleagues and their wins for the quarter. This doesn’t have to be a huge blowout party, but it could be something small (like sending colleagues a care package) that will remind your team that you appreciate their hard work.

Come up with superlatives and present them in a year-end meeting. Awards like “Best Movie Buff” or “Funniest Marketer” build up morale.

12. Perform customer research.

Estimated cost: $500

You may have done previous customer research at the start of the quarter, but allocate some funds on an ongoing basis to understand your customers’ behavior.

Luke Lee is the CEO of PalaLeather, a fashion design brand. Lee says, “We always make sure to allocate funds for market research and consumer analysis. It helps us understand our target audience and what they are looking for in terms of products or services.”

How are you monitoring the web behavior of your customers? Are you investing in social listening tools? And have you revised your personas to reflect the change in customers?

Invest in tools that will help you accurately perform customer research so you can develop new ideas and strategies for future campaigns.

13. Design an infographic.

Estimated cost: $150

Run an analysis, such as a thorough analysis of customer demographics on Twitter, and visually represent your findings in an infographic. This infographic can provide a bird’s-eye insight into specific sections of your customer base.

Additionally, infographics can serve as great material for a blog post.

Check out this infographic from NPR. Not only does it utilize brand colors, but the infographic also shows listener data with unique visual representations.

 Spending your marketing budget on infographics, sample from NPR

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If you were to write a blog post about social media demographics in the marketing industry, for example, you could use the Twitter infographic to illustrate your findings. You can use a tool like Canva to design your infographic (plus, it’s a tool that integrates with HubSpot).

14. Invest in short-form video.

Estimated cost: $100

Making your first short-form video only requires access to a smartphone. However, if your team has extra budget, consider investing in the tools needed to level up your production. That can include a clip-on lav mic or a tripod for your phone.

HubSpot research found that the use of video will grow significantly in 2023. We found that 24% of brands plan to invest more in video than any other media format.

15. Optimize your outdated blog posts for conversion.

Estimated cost: $100

Because the life of a blog post can span several months, and because you’ve published new content offers, you may need to revisit old posts and see if there’s a more relevant call-to-action to improve conversion on your blog.

SEO tools help identify posts that are falling in traffic and can be updated with new information. Keep an archive of previous blog posts to assist with keeping track of blog performance.

16. Perform a sales analysis.

Estimated cost: $1,000

Finding qualified contacts in your CRM that your company wasn’t able to connect with could close sales that didn’t happen last quarter.

With a sales analysis, you can identify those contacts so you know exactly whom to target within the next few months.

Next, come up with ideas to reach out to those customers and connect with them. There are a couple of different ways to do this. You can:

  • Send a personalized email.
  • Create a specialized offer just for closing sales.
  • Look into performing an account-based marketing campaign.

17. Invest in a better CRM integration.

Estimated cost: $300

Does your website automatically send leads into your CRM? Can your sales and marketing teams share feedback on leads? If not, now might be the time to make adjustments to your CRM integration to make it work better for your company.

Look into CRMs that automatically integrate with the programs you use daily. There’s a reason why HubSpot is the number one choice for many; we integrate with everything!

HubSpot’s integrations

This will streamline all the work you need to get done. Collaboration between teams will improve as well.

18. Conduct an SEO audit on your website.

Estimated cost: $500

SEO audits clean up your website, improve the user experience, and boost the chance of webpages being found on search engines. When you improve the SEO language on specific pages, you’re making them easier to be crawled by Google and recommended to searchers.

Reevaluate your website for SEO opportunities every three months. Have your core webpages reviewed to optimize on-page factors, and review web copy for missing keywords.

19. Plan and script a webinar for the next quarter.

Estimated cost: $200

Of marketers, 16% are planning to leverage webinars for the first time in 2023. That’s because webinars are a great way to generate new leads. Focus on topics that solve your target persona’s pain points and produce a high-quality webinar. It can be live and saved for later or prerecorded.

Persona pain points you can focus on are topics you know your audience has questions about, such as sales analytics. For a webinar like this, reach out to a top salesperson at your company and ask them to host. Alternatively, interview them about topics they see as trending.

Once you shoot and edit the webinar, you can promote it via email subscribers and on social media.

Spending your marketing budget promoting webinars

20. Localize your website for an international audience.

Estimated cost: $2,000

If you have an international audience or are planning to expand internationally, remember to update your website. A localized website will make the content on it relatable to local audiences. Go beyond translating the language and think of what customers in other countries will really love.

For instance, research some topical elements and offers that are popular in different regions — really familiarize yourself with culturally relevant graphics and website formats that are interesting to global audiences.

21. Compile an ebook of relevant information.

Estimated cost: $500

An ebook is another content marketing idea for generating leads. Studies or experiments you’ve conducted over the course of the quarter that provided interesting results could be very valuable for your customers.

Look at ebooks that are impressive and take notes of what’s inspiring about them.

Decide on a topic for your ebook and work on formatting it as an offer to subscribers and for social sharing. Additionally, create an offer you can add on a couple of relevant topics to expand the reach of your ebook.

22. Contact industry thought leaders for an interview.

Estimated cost: $500

HubSpot likes to host “HubTalks,” in which we bring different thought leaders in for an interview. This could be a book author, educator, medical professional, or motivational speaker. These talks are meant to inform or entertain attendees.

Talks like these expand the knowledge of employees and give them opportunities to explore their interests. Have your team vote on possible interviewees or topics so you’re picking the right thought leaders, and ask them to submit questions. This is a great opportunity for team bonding and learning.

23. Invest in search ads.

Estimated cost: $1,000

Search remains one of the most effective channels for advertising. The people searching are already qualified users, as opposed to people on social media who aren’t.

Sid Kumar, director of product marketing at Exoprise, says they spend two-thirds of their marketing budget on search ads. “Our annual budget is around $300,000, out of which we spend $200,000 on paid ads (around 66%). $150,000 of that portion goes into Google Ads, while the rest is on Bing,” he says.

Search ads can be a cost-effective way to drive new leads, especially if you target keywords that are high intent (ones that indicate a searcher’s close to making a purchase).

“We have vetted Google Ads leads for many years and found that they are the most reliable for the business,” Kumar adds.

Optimize your website and landing pages for conversions, and make sure you track campaign performance by metrics like conversion rate and lead cost. This will help you to pinpoint areas of the campaign that are performing well, and areas that need attention.

24. Outsource content creation.

Estimated cost: $800 per article

Outsourcing content creation can be a smart move if you’re struggling to gain traction with content. It can free up your time to focus on other tasks, frees up internal resources, and can result in improved content quality — especially if you hire expert freelancers.

“We work with content creators to work on our IT blog,” says Dario Diament, vice president of marketing at InvGate. “Content is a strategic element for us. In order to scale we need third-party resources to help us with that. That’s why we spend 20% of our budget on content right now.”

Eric Doty, content lead at Dock, is “going all-in on SEO from almost day one. So we spend the bulk of our marketing budget on freelance writers and tools to manage that process. I spend a third of our budget on freelance content writers that contribute at least 6-8 blog posts per month.”

Spending Your Marketing Budget

It’s tough to make sure you’re spending your budget wisely. When you stop and think about what your team needs, and what your audience needs, however, you can begin to form a pretty good idea of how to plan out those resources.

Once you do a little research, plan your budget accordingly, and get ready to step into a new quarter on a great note.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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27 Best About Us and About Me Page Examples [+Templates]

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Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand

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MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow

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MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.


Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 


Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.


Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.


Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 


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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

If you’re thinking about getting a degree at any age, it makes sense to think about the value of that degree. Is the qualification needed for the career you want? Are there alternative paths to that career? Can you develop better skills by gaining experience in work? 

All of these are perfectly valid questions. After all, getting a degree requires a pretty large investment of both time and money. You want to know that you’ll get enough return on that investment to make it worthwhile.

Why marketing?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of entry-level jobs list a bachelor’s degree as a requirement. That doesn’t mean there aren’t alternate ways to get into marketing but having a relevant degree certainly makes your resume more competitive. 

Growth industry

Marketing skills are in demand in the current jobs market. According to a recent report from LinkedIn, marketing job posts grew 63% in just six months last year. Half of those jobs were in the digital and media sectors, meaning digital and content marketing skills are highly valued

Personal Development & Career Path

The reason for this increased demand for marketers is tied to the rise in digital marketing. New methods of marketing have continued to develop out of the digital sector. This means that marketers capable of creating engaging content or managing social media accounts are needed.

This leaves a lot of room for personal development. Young graduates who are well-versed in social media and community management can hit the ground running in digital marketing. Getting on this path early can lead to content strategist and marketing management positions.    

What are the Types of Marketing Degrees?

When we say marketing degree, the term is a bit too general. There are a lot of degree paths that focus on marketing in major or minor ways. The level of degree available will depend on your current education history, but the specific course will be down to your personal choice. 

Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s?

Recent statistics suggest that 74% of US marketing professionals hold a bachelor’s degree. 9% have an associate degree and 8% have a master’s degree. Here’s a quick overview of the differences. 

Associate degrees – 2-year courses that cover marketing and business in a more basic way than bachelor’s qualifications. They’re designed to give students the basic skills needed to apply for entry-level marketing jobs.   

Bachelor’s degrees – 3/4-year courses that cover business and economics. There is a range of bachelor’s courses with marketing at their core, but you’ll also cover wider business topics like management, communication, and administration. 

Master’s degrees – 2-year courses, usually only available if you’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree. MA or MBA courses are designed to develop a deep understanding of complex business topics. They are highly specific, covering areas like strategic marketing or marketing analytics. 

Free to use image from Pixabay

Marketing Specific or Business General? 

This is down to personal choice. There are general business degrees that will cover marketing as a module as well as marketing-specific degrees. There are also multiple universities and colleges, both offline and online, offering different course platforms

If you’re looking at a specific job role or career path, then research which type of degree is most relevant. Remember that you will need to add to your marketing skills if you intend to progress to management roles in the future. 

Check the Modules & Curriculum

This is important, and not only because it lets you see which courses align with your career goals. Marketing has changed significantly over the last decade, even more so if you go back to before the digital age. Many business courses are still behind on current marketing trends. 

What Jobs Look for a Marketing Degree?

Once you’ve got your marketing qualification, what jobs should you be looking for? Here are some job titles and areas you should watch out for, and what qualifications you’ll need for them.

Entry level

If you’re starting with a degree and no experience, or work experience but no degree, take a look at these roles. 

  • Sales/customer service roles – These are adjacent roles to marketing where most companies do not ask for prior qualifications. If you don’t have a degree, this is a good place to start.
  • Marketing or public relations intern – Another possibility if you don’t have a degree, or you’re still in education. 
  • Digital/content marketing associate – These roles will almost always require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. A good grasp of new digital and social marketing techniques will be required to succeed. 
  • Copywriter/Bid writer – This is a good route into marketing for those with journalism or literature qualifications. These roles combine aspects of marketing, creative writing, and persuasive writing. 
  • SEO specialist – A more focused form of marketing centered on SEO content optimization. If you know how to optimize a blog post for search engine rankings, this role is for you. Bachelor’s or associate qualifications will be a minimum requirement. 
  • Social media/community manager – Since these are relatively new roles, we tend to see a mix of degree-qualified marketers and people who’ve had success fostering communities or online brands but don’t have on-paper credentials.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

Career Progression

If you have an MA or MBA, or significant experience in one of the above roles, then you can look at these more advanced roles for your career progression.

  • Digital Marketing Manager – A role for experienced marketers that involves running campaigns and coordinating marketing associates. 
  • Senior Marketing Coordinator – A department management level role. Responsible for overall marketing strategy and departmental performance.  
  • Content Strategist – A specialist role that focuses on content strategy. Designing content plans based on demographic and keyword research are a core aspect of this role. 
  • Marketing Analyst – This role involves analyzing customer behaviors and market trends. If you want to move into analysis from a more direct marketing role, you’ll likely need specific data analysis qualifications. 
  • Public Relations Specialist – The public voice of a large organization’s PR team. Managing a brand’s public perception and setting brand-level communication policies like tone of voice.   
  • Experiential Marketing Specialist – This area of marketing is focused on optimizing the customer experience. Experiential specialists have a deep understanding of customer psychology and behaviors. 
  • Corporate Communications Manager – Communications managers are responsible for company-wide communications policies. This is an executive-level role that a marketing coordinator or public relations manager might move up to. 

Average marketing salaries

Across all the roles we’ve discussed above, salaries vary widely. For those entry-level roles, you could be looking at anything from $25 – $40K depending on the role and your experience. 

When it comes to median earnings for marketers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we can get a bit more specific. Recent statistics from Zippia show us that $69,993 p/a is the average for bachelor’s degree holders and $80,365 p/a for master’s degree marketers. 

Image sourced from Zippia.com

Marketing Degree Pros and Cons

So, the question we asked above was “Is a marketing degree worth it?” Yet, in truth, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. The question you need to ask is “Is a marketing degree right for me?” Here’s a summary of the pros and cons that might give you some answers.  

Pros

  • Degree holders have better job prospects and higher earnings potential in marketing
  • You can study highly specific skills with the right courses
  • Gain soft skills like communication and collaboration

Cons

  • High time and money investment required 
  • Diminishing salary returns at higher levels
  • Can be a restrictive environment for self-starters and entrepreneurs

What are Marketing Degree Alternatives?

If you want to stick with education but don’t want to invest four years into a degree, then accredited online courses can provide an alternative. This can be your best choice if you wish to upskill in a specific area like running conference calls from Canada

If higher education really isn’t your thing, the other option is gaining experience. Some businesses prefer internships and training programs for entry-level roles. This allows them to train marketers “their way” rather than re-training someone with more experience.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

How to Decide if a Marketing Degree is Right for You

Ultimately, choosing to do a marketing degree depends on your goals, your preferences, and your talents. Consider all three factors before making your choice. 

Career Goals

Do you want a management position that needs marketing knowledge? What areas of marketing interest you? What skills do you already possess? Answering these three questions will help you define your career path. That will narrow down your course choices. 

If you want to get better at selling small business phone systems in Vancouver, you don’t need a four-year course for that. If you want to develop into high-level marketing roles, then you want that degree. 

Personality

You don’t need a specific personality type to work in marketing. Your personality and interests might determine what area of marketing would suit you best though. For example, if you’re outgoing and creative then public relations or social media management might be for you.    

Investment & Return

Money isn’t everything. But, if you’re going to put the resources into getting a degree, you want to know that you’ll get some return on your investment. From the figures we quoted above, it seems the “optimal” qualification in terms of salary return vs. time and money investment is a bachelor’s degree. 

Average earnings for marketers with a master’s qualification were only $10k higher. This suggests that you’re not really getting a significant financial return for the additional investment. Of course, if that master’s leads to your dream job, you might see it differently.  

Final Thoughts: Forge Your Own Path

Is a marketing degree worth it in 2023? The short answer is yes. Whether that means a marketing degree is right for you, we can’t tell you. Hopefully, though, this guide has given you the information you need to make that choice. 



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