How Marketers Can Win a Larger Piece of the Budget

Keri Witman
Key Takeaways

What? As a marketing leader, you are competing with other departments for resources. 

So what? Marketing efforts don’t always show the immediate results that sales team efforts show because marketing exists early in the customer journey. 

Now what? Combining prospective gains with past successes makes for a convincing argument. ​​​​​​​​

​Most marketing departments don’t lack ideas or ambition, they lack a hefty budget. Following the old maxim, “You’ve got to spend money to make money,” marketing departments with the capital they need can bring in more leads and increase the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. As a marketing leader, you are competing with other departments for resources. You need a sound strategy and rationale for getting the money you need to accomplish your plan; that often means taking a portion from another team or department. Those dollars need to go where they will work the hardest for your company.

Marketing efforts don’t always show the immediate results that sales team efforts show because marketing exists early in the customer journey. To successfully secure the funds for your plans, your team must show how those plans will be beneficial for the future of the company. 

It’s A Numbers Game

The best way to get other department heads to reallocate a bit of their budget is to show them what’s in it for them. How will this investment impact their ability to meet their revenue and profit goals? Prove it with metrics that show your department’s contribution to sales lift, sales-qualified lead generation and market penetration to your target audience. Map out the planned KPIs for the work you are proposing, showing how you plan to measure ROI and present it in a compelling manner. 

Examine these five metrics to build your case: 

1 Ratio of new sessions to recurring sessions. Google Analytics can reveal how many of your site visitors are new and how many are repeat visitors. Both are valuable, especially if they each grew reliably during a certain campaign.

2 Customer retention rate. Measure customers who have returned to your business to make purchases or use your services. This is a good indicator of brand loyalty in particular.

3 Cost per lead. This metric is calculated by dividing spending by leads generated. Inbound marketing can create far lower costs per lead, compared to heavy-spend outbound techniques. Use this metric to show how much money you saved your organization.

4 Online engagement. Likes, shares and mentions don’t create revenue, but you can use increased engagement to demonstrate the effectiveness of your marketing.

5 Total conversions. The ultimate goal of marketing is to convert leads to the next stage of the sales funnel. Show your boss how many customers started as leads.

If you’re able to present instances where spending improved any of these marketing results, you’re on the right path to getting the budget your department needs.

Moving Into the Future

  • ROI results are the first step in justifying a bigger budget, but forecasting how marketing spend can influence your organization’s future bottom line is just as important. 

  • Strategies for anticipating future marketing success:

  • Use metrics to show how your current objectives will be amplified by a larger spend.

  • Show how an increased budget will put your organization ahead of competitors.

  • Look at current market trends and stress the need to further invest to keep up.

Combining prospective gains with past successes makes for a convincing argument. These measurements can dictate a strategy for improving branding, competing with peers, keeping up with leading-edge trends and, ultimately, generating favorable ROI.


 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Keri Witman
Keri Witman is CEO of Cleriti, full-service digital marketing agency. She is an active contributor to Forbes.com as a member of the Forbes Agency Council. Witman has been a panelist on the selection committee for TEDx Cincinnati, has performed stand-up comedy at The New York Comedy Club and was a fundraising mentor for New York City’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training, recruiting team members through her motivational speaking efforts.

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