How to keep your boss in your pocket and get more marketing budget.
We have all been exposed to working with a demanding president, founder, CEO, CFO or COO whom we have to report to and present a marketing plan and year to date results. This typically occurs in Q4 for most organizations. To many CMOs, directors of marketing and other marketing managers, the last quarter is a sprint to make end of year forecast sales goals, but also a time to evaluate what has worked, what hasn’t and basically a time to review your end of year budgets. Be prepared to put your analytics hat and began to have the serious discussions and prepare your marketing plan for fiscal year 2018.
How can you ensure that you are keeping your boss confident in your marketing expertise and results. Are you keeping the boss in your pocket?
Here are three practical strategies to ensure that you finish the year strong and that you are able to get more marketing budget for your 2018 plan. It’s comparable to shopping for Christmas in October to get the best deals or waiting for Black Friday to get trampled by maniacs waiting to get the next generation Samsung TV plasma at your local Best Buy or Walmart.
Don’t be the poor guy trampled on Best Buy’s floor on Black Friday at 11:45PM because you weren’t prepared to buy the Plasma from Amazon in October. Work smarter not harder and don’t procrastinate, use October the first month of Q4 to get your marketing house in order.
Below are three practical steps to avoid being a human floor mat or the marketing guy or girl not prepared for the end of year budget planning and reviews.
- Be prepared to get cozy with every analytical tool available that measures your marketing programs. This analysis should have been happening all year-long, but let’s be honest,, unless you have a dedicated marketing analytics team, you’ve been too busy doing and executing marketing programs and perhaps not consistently measuring your ROI or results.
Pro tip: Lean on your CFO or numbers person within your organization that has the budget vs. actual goals. Make sure you see how the numbers match with your marketing lead generation programs and find all the wins that are tied back to your campaigns.
- Create a simple, yet visually appealing spreadsheet that shows your total program spend by channel and the sales conversions that your marketing programs. This analysis should demonstrate which marketing channels or programs provide the best marketing qualified leads that led to new sales in your CRM. Again this is something you can collaborate with your CFO and CRM director (if you don’t have an all-in-one system, such as our Hubspot marketing & sales platform that we use with our clients)
Pro tip: Prepare the presentation to your audience,whether it’s the CEO, Founder, VP of Marketing, CMO, etc… Make sure you know what they are looking to get out of this meeting, keep it simple, concise but with substantive data which highlights your positive contribution to sales. Numbers don’t lie, so make sure your marketing analysis numbers are correct.
- Use your budget analysis and sales forecast for fiscal year 2018 to get any valuable program, software, additional departmental resources from any left-over budget in 2017.
If you do your homework and get all the numbers and have kept up with your budget from month to month and quarter over quarter, Q4 could be a great quarter to spend on additional resources that will make your marketing team and results in 2018 year even better.
Pro tip: If you have identified a gap in your 2017 marketing program and understand that by implementing a marketing automation software (Hubspot is a really good one), or hiring an additional team member for content, and or if you are positive that an increase in budget on a certain channel will help you get even more sales next year, then don’t hesitate and go for it.
Lastly, remember that analyzing and putting together your marketing plan for 2018 in October, YES during the busiest time of the year both at work and at home (holiday shopping season) can seem like an overwhelming proposition, however if you proactively and pragmatically set up a plan and book a chunk of time every day of the week you’ll get through it and avoid being a frustrated last minute shopper.
Blog written by Gianni Quintana, Digitechy.com