Update: On average, 28% of a marketing budget is allocated toward content. Those that see the most success, however, allocate 42% - contentmarketinginstitute.com (30 September 2015)
It’s that time again when next year’s budget planning starts to appear at the top of marketers’ to-do lists. Although the economic crisis seems to be over for most of us, some organisations are still slow to commit large portions of budget or make greater corporate investments. And, in the world of B2B marketing, failure to secure enough budget to invest in the latest technology, channels and strategies could dramatically impact the company’s ability to generate ROI over the next 12 months. So, here are a couple of tips to help you convince the C-suite that your budget allowance is worth it…
Numbers and proof
Securing budget is all about proving your worth and providing evidence that you can continue to generate ROI in the coming year. The only way to do this and show the C-suite that you’re a capable marketer is to provide in-depth, numerical analysis of your performance over the year to date (YTD). All metrics are important, such as email open rates, click through rates and social media followers etc but the board will want to know about the bottom line. How much impact did your activity have in generating new business and revenue over last 12 months? If you don’t know this, then it’s likely that you’ll struggle to convince the C-suite that you deserve even more investment this year.
As technology, channels and strategies are always changing in the B2B realm, there will be instances where you require budget for a new investment, but have no experience/results to prove it will work for you. When this is the case, do your homework. Carry out comprehensive research and gather information from trusted sources to compile a full business case. If you are able to show results that ‘prove the concept’, then you are more likely to secure budget than if you were to simply give a brief overview of your ideas.
The process of budget planning can take weeks, meaning an ultimately negative response from the board can signify a lot of wasted time, energy and resources. For this reason, involve the C-suite as much as possible in the budget planning. Ask about their goals both for the marketing team and for the wider business. Give them the opportunity to provide input and guidance. It may also be a good idea to run prospective amounts past them to gauge their initial reactions? Were they expecting to allocate less budget than you require? Did you fail to meet their target expectations for the next 12 months? In keeping them involved, you ultimately protect yourself against the C-suite becoming overwhelmed and denying your budget request in an instant.
You’ve approached the board with your in-depth budget plan for next year, and they’ve declined it. Now what? Having put all your eggs in one basket you’ve ultimately lost the opportunity to request a multitude of things that would benefit the marketing department and help you generate ROI. The tip then, is always have a Plan B or at least a back-up plan. If the board aren’t happy to accept your first request, then present them with your second comprehensive case. This way, you’ll always give yourself an opportunity to negotiate for some of the elements you need, as opposed to being denied them all.
To find out more about planning a B2B marketing campaign and generating the numbers needed for a business case…