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16 Tactics to Help Get Your Marketing Budget Approved

by David Lawrence on 
March 21, 2022 | 
Digital Marketing Resources
David Lawrence

Your job is to achieve specific business outcomes through marketing.

And given today’s marketing is tomorrow’s revenue, you’d expect your boss to be on board when you sit down to outline how much budget you’ll need to deliver on your brand new strategy.

If you’re reading this article, you already know this is not always the case!

Your problem is in one of two areas:

There are two main reasons you might be struggling to get what you’ve asked for:

  • Your boss doesn’t have faith in your marketing strategy.
    This might be because your strategy is not up to scratch. It might be because you haven’t explained it in a way they understand. It might be because you have not brought them along for the buyer journey. It might be because your strategy is not aligned with the vision of the business. Regardless of the reason, it is your job to get them on board.
  • Your boss wants to spend less money.
    This is typically a symptom of something else. It might be related to how much they value your marketing strategy. It might be because they are under general pressure to reduce expenditure. It might be because they question how much real value you will create and therefore struggle to see marketing ROI. It might be because this is how they approach all budget discussions.

Understand the rules of the game

Chances are you and your boss are working under different pressures and working according to different rules in your organisation.

The first thing you need to understand is what rules are they playing by? Who do they answer to and what pressures are they under? Ultimately, what is it they want and how can you tailor your strategy and how you communicate it, to give them the peace of mind that you are doing something valuable for them.

In some cases they will need to take what you tell them and communicate it to others. They need to be crystal clear and on board with your vision and the results it will generate if you want to have any chance of success.

Let’s get practical

Based on years of experience in helping marketers get their budgets approved, here are our top tips to get the result you want.

If the roadblock is related to your marketing strategy:

  1. Business alignment: Understand that decision-makers don’t care about marketing deliverables or projects in isolation. Your business case for using company money should be carefully aligned with wider business priorities and goals. How are you proposing to help move the company forward?

  2. Specificity: Once they understand the big picture, those accountable for the money like to know what they’re getting. Be specific about what marketing activities you will be tackling within the broader strategy and what they will see for it in terms of deliverables.

  3. Clarity: To build confidence that everything will happen, include a timeframe or roadmap. A top-level strategy will not be enough for detail-focused people to sign off on.

  4. Comparison: Consider doing a SWOT analysis, taking into account the competition and where your businesses marketing currently stands against it.

  5. Facetime: Get in front of them and pitch what you’re planning to do. Chat or email won’t give you the best chance of influencing others.

  6. Customer journey: Connect the conversation to your buyer journey. In asking for additional money to increase activities or reach, demonstrate how you’ll be meeting your prospects where they are in a more effective way.

  7. Hard choices: Strategy is as much about what you don’t do, as what you will be doing. Show what you’ve stopped doing and what you won’t start doing. Explain why the currently proposed activities are indeed the smartest ones of all those considered.

  8. KPIs: Set clear KPIs that help show return on investment. People accountable for the money will be comforted by clearly defined targets and expectations. Consider the following types of KPIs - note these are business metrics:
    1. Projected revenue growth
    2. Customer retention growth
    3. New customer acquisition
    4. Increase customer lifetime value

If the roadblock is related to the amount of money requested:

  1. ROI: Show them it’s an investment by clearly demonstrating what you hope to get from it in the future. You need to move them from thinking of marketing as an expense.

  2. FOMO: Show them what your competitors are spending (using tools like SEMRush). It’s important that decision-makers understand what the other people wanting to reach your perfect prospects are currently spending.

  3. Bring them along for the journey: You will have greater success if the decision-maker has been involved prior to the final conversation. Failing that, make the pitch meeting a discussion they have input into i.e. it’s a draft, and you want their feedback and ultimately their approval.

  4. Set expectations: Make the discussion long-term, both in terms of activities and results. Build a business partnership with them and help them understand that good marketing is a mix of activities to generate revenue now, as well as those that generate additional demand tomorrow.

  5. Experiment: Run experiments to show them you’re always trying to get the best ROI. Demonstrate that the recommendations you have made in this strategy are based on solid learnings from the past.

  6. Educate: Show them what’s changed since the last time you did this. What are the new trends or learnings you need to target?

  7. Attribution: Help them understand which activities will lead to clearly measured results and which will not. Focus on attribution-based reporting for all revenue events so you can prove the value of your efforts.

  8. Be accountable: Continuously demonstrate how you reduce wasted spend and re-allocate it to higher performing areas. Showing constant improvement and careful decision-making will build trust.

What’s next?

Review the list above and consider adding a selection of our tactics to your next marketing budget discussion. The actions you take should be carefully considered to ensure they represent the best value from the perspective of the decision maker. What is going to be needed to turn them into a supporter of your proposed strategy?

If you want to have a chat about how our award-winning marketers could help make your strategy a success, then get in touch. Speak to us on 1300 059 620 or leave us a message.

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