The Marketing budget provides insight into the organizations and Marketing’s priorities.  It reflects your investment portfolio. As an investment portfolio there is an expectation of a positive return.  Yet, at Gartner points out in the Spend Survey, “Budgeting methods that lean heavily on historical data rely on the assumption that the logic that drove those decisions was and will remain sound. When this logic fails, as it often does, CMOs are left over investing in areas that don’t yield measurable returns.”
As with any investment portfolio, you need to take a forward-looking approach. That starts with having a Marketing plan tied to what the business needs to achieve, how Marketing will contribute to creating value, and insuring the company can successfully compete.

Connect the Work of Marketing and Investments to Results

work of marketing budget resultsTo secure and keep a budget, Marketing is being asked to demonstrate a return by showing a direct relationship between investments Marketing is making on behalf of the organization and business results.  Therefore every tactic, activity, and program needs to roll up to a specific outcome. This will require you to take an outcome-based approach as opposed to a campaign-based approach to measuring the performance of your Marketing investments.  It will also requires data, analytics, and model skills.

While the key is to connect Marketing to outcomes, the action takes place in the trenches on the front line. For many marketers this means understanding two key processes: the customer buying process and your organization’s selling process.

Your Marketing Budget Depends on Your Diving Deep Into Your Customers Buying Process

How well you understand your customers’ is the key differentiator between effective and ineffective Marketing. Marketing needs to take the lead in understanding how the various stakeholders associated with the buying process evaluate offers in your industry. For each stage in the process, focus your efforts on learning your prospects needs and requirements. Your job is to then develop strategies and tactics to help your prospects understand and evaluate our offer in such a way as to influence the buying decision.

Design and develop your  marketing programs to help your prospects achieve the milestones necessary to advance to the next stage in their buying process. To this part of the job well, you will need to identify the people involved in the buying process and know what aspect of our product each will want to analyze.

How Well Your Understand Your Sales Process Impacts Your Marketing Budget

These processes will help Marketing secure a bigger budget.

Know these processes to secure a bigger Marketing budget.

A salespersons role is to facilitate the customers buying process.  Marketing plays a key role in helping Sales engage new customers in buying discussions and keeping existing prospects and customers engaged. Everything that we do as marketers for our organizations should support the way in which the company engages with prospects and customers. The company’s sales team has tremendous influence over the perception of a company. If each sales person has their own presentation, writes their own letters, owns each conversation with the customer, then Sales not Marketing is creating and controlling the message and brand promise. When there a numerous creators of the brand promise, the potential for inconsistencies, confusion and dilution increases.

Marketers must demonstrate to the Sales team that we understand both the buying and the sales cycle. In this way we can address the assets, touchpoints, and channels that will yield the best results at each stage. Before committing to white papers, presentations and traditional collateral, examine the sales cycle carefully and explore how some other tools, such as assessments, ROI calculators, account profiling tools, objection handling, research, case studies, etc. can be used.

Remember, Sales people often feel a sense of urgency when a deal is on the line, so tools need to be ready sooner than later. When Marketing develops assets and deploy them in the correct channels so they add value to prospects while advancing the sales cycle, then Marketing is contributing to the overall process.

When you can measure your contribution you are better positioned to secure the budget.

NEED A SECOND OPINION? At VisionEdge Marketing we regularly help our customer develop the right plan and budget that allow you to step back and demonstrate the value Marketing brings to your organization. Contact us for help building your Marketing plan and budget, and we’ll help you position Marketing as an investment that will bring a quantifiable value and impact to the business over time.


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