Committing to a new marketing investment can be tough. There are two questions we are often asked:
"What will it take to make growth happen?"
And right on the heels of that first question:
"Will it work?"
The decision also comes with uncertainty about how much to spend. Invest too much, and it hurts the bottom line. Invest too little, and the lead pipeline shrinks. So CEOs everywhere ask these questions, and rightfully so.
It helps to have a process for making marketing investment decisions. We use a strategic perspective to set marketing budgets, and a marketing metrics framework to build confidence in the outcome.
Hopefully, this process will help you to get moving.
Will it pay? Framework to gain confidence in your marketing investmentWhen it comes to investing in marketing, we understand the stakes. You have to drive growth, hit your revenue number and still make money. Doing nothing is not an option.
You probably already know whether it will take 10 new customers or 100 to hit your number. But how will you attract those new customers, and at what cost?
It helps to break down the bigger marketing investment question into bite-sized decisions. Start by asking the following questions:
1. Revenue goals: What is the annual revenue goal, and in particular, your expected increase in revenue, for the coming year? How many new customers will it take to pay for your marketing budget? How will upsell or cross sell among existing customers help reach that goal? Look at revenue growth, annual value per new customer, and expected percent of upsell/cross sell activity among your existing customer base.
2. Program size: What kind of plan will it take to generate the right number of new customers? Is it realistic? Develop an actionable plan cost, and “stress test” it by estimating website traffic, web-based lead generation and conversion rate based on data you already have from your website. If this information is not available, how well can you estimate?
3. Likelihood of success: Is the foundation in place to achieve success? Can processes be easily repeated to create efficiencies? Infrastructure that helps here includes analytics tools that measure the impact of your website on sales, marketing automation that helps nurture leads, and distribution systems for your messaging. Social media is a core element in delivering content, promotions, and offers to a range of interested web searchers. Plans need to be tested and fine tuned, and scale is critical to success.
4. Measurement tools: Do you have the plan and tools to measure success? Sales and marketing are metrics driven, and you need both the right plan, and the right marketing metrics to measure ROI and justify the investment.
How can I improve our chances of success?
If your marketing isn't working, repeating the same tactics won't move the needle. Your marketing approach needs to evolve. This evolution starts with reframing how you think about marketing.
First: Look at your marketing from the customer's perspective. As we just heard at the Inbound 15 conference, "Market unto others as you'd have them market to you." This means, no uninvited sales pitches, no interruptions by phone or email. This means: answer the questions you know your prospects have about your category or sector by offering high value, meaningful content they'll find on the web through search.
Next: Drill down into revenue goals and customer acquisition costs, and install the right tools to manage and track results. This means: align marketing activities with your sales and revenue objectives, measure progress vs. goals and iterate, to feel more confident with your marketing budget.
Perhaps Theodore Roosevelt said it best:
"In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."
With a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed, integrate marketing decisions with the strategic goals of your business. With the right tools to manage your new marketing program, you can move forward with confidence!
Marketing Decisions Stalled? Need Help Assessing The ROI Of Your Marketing Efforts? Schedule a Whiteboard Consultation.