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Get the Marketing Budget You Need in 2 Steps

Posted on Nov 10th, 2016
Written by TopRank Marketing
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    It’s November 10th and my Christmas lights are up. To be honest, I hung them November 1st, but don’t tell anyone.

    The end of the fiscal year is fast approaching, and for us marketers, it’s more than holiday parties and eggnog; that means it’s time to stake our claim of 2017 budgets.

    In the review of any digital marketing budget proposal, executives are going to look for the answer to these two questions:

    1. What did you do drive business this year?
    2. How do you plan to drive business next year?

    Your budget proposal presentation should hand these answers on a shiny silver platter to those responsible for approval. I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of marketing professionals as they prepare for this big moment, and there are two important elements that prove to be most effective at earning budgets year after year: proving your ROI, and mapping potential to dollars.

    Prove Your ROI

    The first step in creating any marketing budget is to show that your marketing efforts are capable of achieving results – last year, this year, and of course, next year. To effectively be able to reflect how your digital marketing efforts contributed to the growth of the company, there are several metrics that you should keep close tabs on throughout the year.

    • Total website sessions
    • Organic sessions
    • User engagement (time on page, pages per visit, bounce rate)
    • Number of leads/conversions from online marketing activities
    • Conversion rates
    • Cost per lead

    The majority of this data should be available within your website analytics platform. If you’re working with an SEO or PPC agency, they can also provide you with useful data that will help to paint a picture of how marketing contributed to sales, leads, visibility, etc.

    TIP: There’s a difference between reporting data and insights. Avoid copying and pasting screenshots throughout your EOY report; call out insights and wins in plain English for all to understand quickly.

    Run the Numbers to Calculate Monetary Potential

    It’s far more effective to present estimated monetary return on investment, than to try to get sign off for 100,000 more impressions.

    For E-commerce sites, it’s easier to calculate potential return on investment using website analytics. Say for instance your 2017 goal is to increase online memberships by 20% YOY, which data reflects would be equivalent to 100 additional memberships, at $200 apiece. If you come to your boss and say, “I’d like to make you $20,000 extra, and it’s only going to cost us $1,000 in X channel,” the decision is very clear.

    For marketers that aren’t tied to an E-commerce site, there’s hope for you too! Google Analytics offers the ability to assign monetary value to actions taken on your website. Are you taking advantage of this?

    What is it worth to your company to have someone fill out the contact form? It may seem like an impossible question to answer, especially if you’re not using a CRM, but it’s simpler than you think.

    1. Figure out the average number of contact form submissions you receive every month.
    2. Speak to your sales team or consult your CRM to see what percentage of these inquiries result in actual sales.
    3. Calculate the average dollar amount of sales (S) that originate from an online form inquiry.

    Now you have the data to calculate what each form inquiry is really worth to your company.

    TIP: Ask for more than you need. Just like in any negotiation, leave your budget some room for superiors to counter at a lower amount.

    Looking for more ways to earn more marketing budget? Read the post 4 Steps Marketers Can Take Towards Increasing Their Digital Marketing Budget.