A recent survey of 100 chief marketing officers by The CMO Club in partnership with IBM found that ‘57% of respondents indicated their budgets would increase over the next 2-3 years’. This statistic is in addition to the findings that ‘Overall, marketing budgets were reported up, due to either strategic funds or strong organic increases, but so are expectations. Furthermore, CMOs are planning to increase their spending across every stage of the buyer journey over the next two years by an average of 50%’.
So what’s prompting this growth in budgets and spending in the realm of B2B marketing? Well, not only is the economy improving which is enabling businesses to loosen the purse strings, but the ability to offer closed-loop reporting and prove marketing’s worth to the board is also growing in popularity.
Budgets don’t just fall from the sky. Anyone who has ever tried to secure a B2B marketing budget will know that the process of getting their hands on money for the coming year can be an arduous task which requires a lot of grovelling to the board of directors. The board hold the key to the company’s capital, and following the economic downturn, they are not inclined to give money away for free. So, in order to ensure an adequate marketing budget is received for future activities, the board want CMOs and marketing managers to prove their worth using the metric that matters… ROI. If a marketing manager can approach the board with good ROI figures and show that their activity is directly helping the business grow, then they are likely to secure future funding.
In order for B2B marketers to show their worth to the board, they first have to successfully measure the ROI of all their activity. This is something which may have been relatively easy back in the days of just email communications and a bit of telemarketing; but the arrival of social media, content, and a variety of other channels made this process a lot more difficult. The fact is, investment in marketing automation gave marketers the ability to comprehensively measure and report on all their activities. It also enabled them to amend or remove their underperforming channels and invest more in the channels that generated results. The outcome of this investment meant clear numerical results that could be presented to the board.
The circle of life
So, why are marketing budgets rising and why are CMOs planning to increase their spending across every stage of the buyer journey over the next two years? The answer is the circle of life. Marketers are more capable than ever of venturing into new channels, determining their abilities, amending their activities, or removing these channels from the marketing activity all together. Marketing automation tools help measure success across all channels and ultimately give marketers the fire power they need to approach the board and ask for future funding.
In turn, the board can now review the comprehensive numerical results provided by the marketing team and make budget decisions quickly and efficiently. Thanks to marketers’ clear focus on ROI and their ability to amend activities and projects that are failing to hit the mark, the board can now place more trust in them than ever before. The result, the board provides marketing with increased budgets, and marketers continue investing in software, channels and practises that help grow the business.
As you can see, this process of securing increased budget for the marketing team is all about the ability to effectively measure ROI. So, to find out more about tracking the success on all your marketing activities…