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So, your marketing budget is getting cut… To be clear, the budget cut is really just your organization decreasing investment on activities they can not track. Considering your current marketing and sales activities, perhaps it’s not all that surprising. Here are my top 10 ways to get leadership to increase their investment in you and your initiatives.

Number 10: Stop wasting time on things you shouldn’t be doing

Many “marketing managers” are in the weeds, doing the work and keeping themselves busy with tasks that should be carried out by an intern or someone overseas. We all have the same amount of time each day, so spend as much time as possible on activities that drive the highest value and 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 on how to get the most from your team.

Number 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, however. It could mean price per email, price per contact, price per meeting, price per phone call…

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. 

Number 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 on everything and add all of those values up. This will give you a monetary “visitor value” amount and 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.

Number 7: Prove lifetime customer value

Understand your customer. I know this is taught at every college and university 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.

Number 6: Identify opportunities for career growth

This is a big one. Your team members are some of your greatest resources, so finding ways to improve and advance their skills can be a major competitive advantage for your company. Take inventory of current talents on your team and identify skills gaps that some training courses, one-on-one guidance or team knowledge-sharing could help fill. 

Number 5: Start holding yourself accountable

It’s easy for managers to point fingers at vendors, employees and leadership. 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.

Number 4: Get buy-in from your sales team

Sales teams can be a pain in the ass — I get it. Marketers do all the work and salespeople 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. Stop having sales meetings and marketing meetings and start having sales and marketing meetings. 

Here’s a pro-tip: 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.

Number 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.

Number 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.

Number 1: Always look ahead

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.

Obviously, no two successes will have the same story, and no two marketing teams will pursue the same initiatives. My advice is to use the trial-and-error approach to find the strategies that work best for you and your company. 

Exactly What is the Difference Between a Branding Agency and a Digital Agency?

Exactly What is the Difference Between a Branding Agency and a Digital Agency?