Anyone who has ever worked in marketing understands that Houston businesses have to spend money to make money. Unfortunately, bosses may not want to hear it – especially if you’re asking them to invest in a new advertising strategy that is outside of their “comfort zones.” So how can you get over this hurdle and start building a marketing budget that will help your business to become more successful than ever? Here are a five tips and tricks that can help sell your marketing plan to your boss and (finally) getting your budget approved.
1. Treat Your Boss as Your Client
Building a marketing budget is very similar to the sales process. By viewing your boss as your “client,” you can effectively create a sales pitch that is strategically designed to address his/her problems, offer solutions and overcome objectives. Using this model, you can help your superior(s) understand why they need to invest in a new advertising plan and why your strategy is the best way for the company to meet its revenue goals.
2. Present the Facts
Although your boss may be comfortable with more traditional advertising tactics like print ads or direct mail, he/she may shy away from the “unknown.” Because of this, it may challenging for you to get your approvers to give the green light on newer strategies like content marketing, social media, etc. As a case-in-point, B2B marketing insider Michael Brenner has observed that, “The real problem … isn’t to get funding to get something new, but to get people to stop doing what isn’t working.” In other words, your task isn’t necessarily to convince your boss to try something new, but rather, to stop spending money on tactics that aren’t yielding results. To accomplish this, you must be prepared with facts like this *:
- 44% of direct mail is never opened
- 86% of people skip television ads
- 70% of customers prefer electronic marketing to paper ads
3. Get SMART
When building a marketing budget and presenting it to your boss, you need to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Unless your objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound, he/she won’t understand how or why it is that your plan will be able to solve any of the company’s problems. Be sure to identify specific needs that can be addressed in a realistic and relevant approach. At the same time, you must come up with a way to track and measure the success of these tactics, and provide a (tentative) for when the plan will come to fruition and what types of results can be expected.
4. Respect the Money
Have you truly come up with the most cost-effective way to meet your company’s objectives? When building a marketing budget, you must consider company money as your own. If you wouldn’t spend your hard-earned cash on your advertising recommendation and might seek out a cheaper way to do it, find and present an approach that you would spend your hard-earned money on. That’s what your boss will expect and will support.
5. Prove Yourself
Results are what really count. Start small by requesting a three month “pilot” program that will allow you to prove your plan for generating qualified leads, converting them to customers and thus, boosting revenue. Once you’ve proven your methods for a sales quarter, move on to another phase of your strategy. Through quarterly updates, continue building a marketing budget and updating your plan to meet the needs of your now growing business.
Building a marketing budget is an on-going process, but it doesn’t have to be tedious. By following this five-step guide, you can continuously win your boss’s approval and help to improve the efficiency of your company’s marketing budget.