You may not always know what marketing expenses actually go to marketing your small business and what ones go to administration and operations. When it comes time to budget, know which expenses are marketing costs so you can make sure you fund your marketing efforts.

Traditional Advertising

When you place ads on television, in print publications or on the radio, these costs must come from your marketing budget. This is the type of marketing that many small business owners are familiar with. It can also be the most expensive type of marketing. Identify your traditional marketing expenditures and count those as part of your marketing costs.

Internet Expenses

Your website is part of your marketing effort. So are auto responders for email, advertisements you purchase on other people’s websites and any money you pay to affiliates who sign up to sell your products on their websites. Count maintenance of your website as a marketing expense as well.


When you sponsor a local sporting event, charity fundraiser or a local athlete or artist, this is a marketing expense. Include the cost of having a logo applied to sportswear, as well as any funding of an event’s marketing efforts.


If you offer seminars, webinars and workshops to your customers, these are marketing expenses. Do not count such offerings for employees, because these would be considered training for your workforce. Any travel, refreshments, materials and wages for presenters that you pay to present seminars to potential customers qualify as marketing expenses.

Business Travel

When you travel to meet clients or prospective clients, your travel expenses count as marketing expenses. Keep track of airfare, taxi fares, meals, hotel costs and items such as Internet access fees. These expenses come out of your marketing budget.

Gifts to Clients

You should count all gifts to clients as marketing expenses, including promotional coupons. Though you can only write off up to $25 per gift, track the full expense for all gifts to clients as marketing expenditures. This will tell you how much of your marketing budget you spend on presents.