Let’s start with a story.
Melissa is a Director of Marketing at a 100MM software company. She is new to the organization and has been tasked with molding her team into a modern day marketing machine. Melissa just returned from the SiriusDecisions Annual Summit. At the conference, she discovered a SaaS platform that could take her marketing team’s effort to the next level, and help tremendously with creating qualified opportunities for the sales organization. Melissa has a meeting with her CMO, and she is preparing to present on priority and how to budget for these platforms.
She is basically pitching her CMO to invest in this platform.
Marketers are often tasked with getting buy-in from the C-suite. Here at Kapost, I see it all the time, and it’s a process that requires “selling” a product or service internally. So in order to give marketers a little support, I’ve put together some examples of how to get budget approved for those resources that will help you take your marketing team to the next level.
I have found that budget typically can be attained in three ways, upon building a business case:
1. Asking for either additional budget
2. Re-allocating budget
3. Build into next year’s budget
Let’s explore these three options:
1. Asking for additional budget
In building the business case, you need to examine the benefits, specifically time saved (cost) or projected growth (driving revenue). In my opinion, explaining how a product or service will grow revenue is always the most convincing argument. Ask any CFO or Exec their thoughts. Although both are important, I’d guess that 90% of the time they’d rather hear about how much money you’ll earn versus the time you’ll save. For example, what sounds better? Driving $8 dollars of revenue for $1 dollar of spend, or saving $2 for $1 of spend? No contest.
Once you have defined the business case, learn who, why, and how to ask. The CFO is an obvious choice, but think about sales leaders, who manage big budgets and are key influencers in most organizations. As a modern marketer, you own the top half of the funnel. Staying aligned with sales is critical to your organization’s success, and can be further leveraged to get buy-in for your initiatives. If you can prove to a VP of Sales that your spend will generate 10% more revenue, you just got funded.
2. Reallocating budget
This is an internal play with your CMO. Marketing teams typically have the most discretionary budget of any organization. I would look to find the non-performing spend of your budget, every marketing team has a few. The cost vs. revenue play still tilts toward showing revenue generation, but in this situation, focus more on cost/time savings of team efficiences, future insights (analytics), and strategy alignment. In today’s marketplace and how quickly programs and platforms can prove themselves (or not), finding internal budget is the easiest method to fund a purchase.
3. Building into next year’s budget
There is only one good reason for this to happen: you are actually at the end of the year and all your budget is spent. Don’t fall into this trap. If you can build a business case, fight like hell to either get the budget from inside or outside your P&L. If the business case does not move you take action immediately, wait and spend elsewhere. Technology moves fast and improvements are happening on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.
Marketing teams and technology are moving at an unprecedented pace and need all processes, systems and personnel working in lock step to keep you ahead of your competition. If you know that a platform or service offering can improve your business, evaluate the situation and strategize the best way to present your case.
If you fight for what you need to take your team to the next level, you’ll find budget. It’s there for the taking.