Are you fed up with not being able to articulate growth of your return on investment? Is your year-on-year budget stagnant - or worse - dwindling?
Well, you're not alone! Demonstrating a positive ROI and securing a larger budget for ROI-generating activities are two of the most pressing issues facing marketers right now, according to HubSpot’s recently released State of Inbound 2015 report.
Filled with interesting insights covering the latest market trends, priorities, challenges and best-in-class marketing practices, the take-home of this report for me personally was this: Show a positive return on your marketing investment and see your budget for next year grow.
With mounting pressures from straight from the top, being able to prove your marketing department's contribution to the bottom line while tracking and measuring marketing ROI (which is so valuable to your executives), is key to seeing those purse strings loosened for campaigns that are aligned to overall business objectives and needs to be a top priority. So let’s get down to business, shall we?
How To Get More Inbound Marketing Funds
1. Demonstrate ROI
“Proving ROI gets you budget. Period.”
The key to securing more money for your department is to accurately quantify the ROI on your marketing efforts by showcasing the results within a quantifiable framework. Do this by tracking and reporting on the metrics that matter the most to your executives. This data is invaluable in pinpointing a positive return on investment year after year, and is sure to see your budget grow and deliver even better business results.
2. Get Buy-In From Executives
“Finding an executive sponsor was more than seven times as likely to be cited as a challenge in 2015”.
Executives are not super concerned about how many qualified leads you generate or the click-through rates on your last email campaign. For them the bottom-line is profit and loss, and growth and revenue. It's your job as a marketer to arm yourself with ammunition (in the form of accurate figures) that boosts your team’s credibility and helps them determine their strategy for next year in order to achieve positive business results. The more faith executives have in your reports, the more likely you are to get an increase in next year’s budget.
3. Keep Metrics In Check
“Marketers who check their metrics 3x+ a week are over 20% more likely to achieve positive ROI”.
Keeping regular tabs on the tracking and reporting of metrics aligned to your overall business objectives has a direct impact on achieving positive results. Measuring marketing metrics that are valuable to the board also gives you a great opportunity to prove the positive business impact of your marketing activities. It's also a great way to identify areas of improvement, or where your marketing opportunities have triumphed.
Remember this - a positive ROI equals a bigger budget.
4. Use a Content Marketing Platform
“Marketing automation systems help marketers achieve ROI”.
Marketers are often faced with a lack of tools and automated processes to measure the effectiveness of their ROI-generating activities. Which is precisely why a good content marketing platform can help you raise your ROI and improve your marketing. Not only does it simplify (and automate) your marketing efforts, it acts as a hub to host, managing and measuring all your activities with ease. Add to that the analytic capabilities of a content marketing platform and you're presented with the best data needed to calculate and prove a positive ROI for securing a bigger budget.
5. Establish an SLA For Greater Collaboration And Budget
“When Sales and Marketing are aligned, marketers get more budget”.
Inbound success shouldn’t rest solely on the shoulders of the marketing department. It should be a team effort with a strong alignment between Sales and Marketing that shows the board both departments are accountable and committed to working together towards business objectives and more importantly, reaping revenue rewards. An effective way to align sales and marketing activities is to implement a mutually dependable and beneficial relationship between Marketing and Sales, better known as a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Having a rock solid SLA has a direct correlation between a greater budget and growing headcount, so if you don’t have an SLA, it’s a good time to get one!
6. Less is More Or Is It?
“The more you have, the less you’ll receive”.
Hubspot’s report reveals that the more money you’re investing in wasteful marketing campaigns, the less likely you are to receive a budget increase the following year. The catch is this - to demonstrate success, you need to run campaigns that deliver adequate ROI. Which is why you need to secure funds in the first place. Sounds a bit like a conundrum to me, but the take-home is this: when you operate under a lean framework (not throwing money at the wrong activities), your marketing funds will stretch further and your c-suite executives will be far more open to allocating additional funds to next year’s budget.
The key to unlocking more marketing funds is to show your execs exactly where you spend your money… on initiatives that drive revenue and results! By utilising a content marketing platform you can up your stakes by accurately tracking and reporting on meaningful metrics that they can understand and appreciate. Armed with clear and concise data to back up your claims, you will be well on your way to beating those budgeting blues.