So your marketing budget is getting cut. To be clear, it’s not your marketing budget that’s getting cut, it’s your organization decreasing investment on activities they can not track. Considering your current marketing and sales activities, perhaps it’s not all that surprising. So I put together a list of the top 10 ways to get leadership to increase their investment in you and your initiatives.
10. Stop wasting time on things you shouldn’t be doing
Know your role. Too many “marketing managers” are in the weeds, doing the work. Keeping themselves busy with tasks that should be carried out by a college student or someone overseas. We all have the same amount of time in each day. Spend as much time as possible on activities that drive the highest value/revenue to the organization. As much fun as it is to log into analytics and see how many conversions you received in the last 45 minutes, you should be thinking and planning how to get the most from your team.
9. Spend $0 on things you can’t measure
This is quite simple. If you can’t track it, don’t do it. Some might be asking what does “track it” mean? Track it means, for every dollar you put into marketing activation, what dollar value should you get out of it? This doesn’t always have to mean sales … it could mean price per email, price per contact, price per meeting, price per phone call. Too many companies are spending a lot of money on “brand” initiatives. Brand initiatives are not intended to be measured. To be clear, if you are activating brand campaigns and trying to measure their effectiveness, you should stop immediately. This is a major factor in marketing budgets getting cut in the first place. Too many marketing teams are doing branding work (which needs to be done – I’m not arguing that) but at the end of the day, you’re not being measured by the branding work you do, you’re being measured by the results of your marketing campaigns. If this is happening to you, for the love of everything, call it out.
8. Establish a visitor value
What is every email worth to you in dollars? What about every contact in your CRM? What about every sales lead, trial taken, meeting, phone call, download, case study view, website visitor? Put a dollar amount value to everything. Add it all up. This will allow you to better evaluate a proposed marketing campaign budget. Look at how many opportunities you have to create dollar value to put them against the cost of the marketing campaign.
7. Prove lifetime customer value
Understand your customer. I know this is taught at all the famous community colleges across the country, but most marketing managers forget this. When you understand your lifetime customer value, or the amount of money each customer is ultimately worth to your company, it becomes easier to make decisions about marketing activities and budget investment.
6. Get rid of dead weight – bad employees/team members
This is a big one. Cut the dead weight, folks. You know who they are; they aren’t going to change and every day that goes by and you do nothing, it isn’t just the loss of the day but also the “opportunity cost” of not having the right person in that role. This is a double whammy.
5. Start holding yourself accountable
It’s easy for management to point fingers at vendors, employees and leadership, but the biggest value you can provide not just to your company but also to yourself, is to hold yourself accountable. You are who you surround yourself with. Position yourself around people who match your value system and share your passion for the goals you want to achieve.
4. Get buy-in from your sales team
Sales teams are a pain in the ass; I get it. Marketers do all the work and sales people get all the glory. Embrace this, encourage this, get your sales leaders to buy into what you are doing with your marketing. The easiest way to make this happen is to integrate with them. Have meetings together. Stop having sales meetings and marketing meetings and start having sales and marketing meetings. Ask for your sales team’s input, collaboration and perspective. It will have a drastic impact on the success of marketing campaigns. I see it every day.
3. To be specific is to be brave
Clearly define the major objectives you want to accomplish with your marketing and sales teams. Not just leads and sales, but process improvements and content creation goals. When you are specific, you put yourself and your team in a position of extreme accountability with each other.
2. Report what matters
We are marketing people in an age when numbers and data are at every corner. Lack of tracking isn’t the problem, lack of focus on what you should be looking at is the biggest hurdle. Make sure you and your leadership team align perfectly on what success looks like and report on those specific benchmarks. Don’t get distracted with numbers that look great, but don’t really matter.
1. Look forward
One of the biggest reliefs you can give the person holding the purse is to constantly remind them of the shared vision and goals you are working on together. Remind one another what is being done to realize the vision you all have put forth.