Martijn Scheijbeler

Learnings from Sales & Marketing Spend of Public Consumer Companies

What percentage of expenses is acceptable to spend on Sales & Marketing: 4% or 52%. What if I told you that both are acceptable answers? Looking at a few dozen public companies (focusing on consumers, knowing that B2B/SaaS dynamics are even more different), I found interesting answers to these questions.

The quarterly and yearly earnings filings from public companies (submitted to the SEC) provide a good insight into how they think about marketing & sales as part of their financial statements. So I looked at the last earning reports from over 20+ public companies, primarily in consumer technology, to better understand their spend levels.

Findings for Marketing Spend for Public Consumer Companies

The Outliers

Marketing & revenue grew at almost the same pace from ’21 to ’22

Methodology & Caveats

To get to the results, we looked at >20 publicly listed companies (in the US) that are either focused on consumer tech or are consumer brands (think Peloton, Airbnb, Nike). We took the last available 10-K from the SEC filings (public record), often in the year 2022. For the comparison, we looked at the same metrics but for the year 2021.

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