February 13, 2017

Boost Your Marketing Budget Without a Brawl

by Rachel Trem

Marketing always gets the blame, amiright? I mean, we weren’t creative enough or forward-thinking enough or thorough enough or whatever enough. Our BFFs over at HubSpot have a great piece empathizing with this marketing woe, as well as offering some sage advice on how to deal.

But there is more truth, and that truth is that the product has to be good enough to market, as well as created for and targeted to the right audience. When that is done, our job of communicating and connecting with the audiences’ need for said product or service begins. And goodness do we love that job! So, we roll up our sleeves, start doing the research and figuring out what plan and resources we need to execute an effective marketing campaign.

Then we start fretting.

Resources. Oh, the resources and the ever-existing problem of being short on them. And having to head to the boss’ office and explain how an expanded marketing budget will be helpful in an ultimately effective campaign.

Being short on and needing to ask for more dollars is an ongoing, ubiquitous challenge all marketers face.

So, the question is, how do we elude this problem? How do we confidently ask for a bigger marketing budget? How do we convince a C-level that connecting intangibly with a target audience via social media, content and partnerships requires money and is ultimately effective?

Here are a few tips that should, if anything, give you a mental boost, if not an entire path to solving these questions with the outcome you’re hoping.

1. Make the request sooner rather than later.

You don’t want to get half—or even a third—of the way way through your plan and realize that you didn’t properly plan and/or allocate. Showing that you didn’t mismanage the original budget and resources offers you a positive head start in showing the bosses that you know how to plan, instead of getting far behind and proving that you don’t.

2. Be your boss for a second.

Seriously, write out your plan and then review it with new eyes, like they are theirs of your boss. Look at your plan skeptically and think of every question you’d be asked, like:

  • What is the expected time of ROI?
  • Do you have examples of how this plan has worked in the past or for others?
  • What are the benchmarks?
  • Have you priced out a variety of vendors for relevant services?

Now, find every answer you’ll need.

3. Show facts.

Again, thinking from the perspective of the business owner, to whom the bottom line is the ultimate matter, make sure you show how any profit will outweigh the cost. Break down the placement of each expense, and the reward associated with it.

4. Talk up what you have.

Be grateful for and explain how you will use the resources and marketing outlets you have. You want to prove that you can make the most of what’s currently available and that you are forgoing an existing resource for something that seems newer and shinier. You are clever, smart; get creative in figuring out how you will make the most of existing opportunity, but then leverage any new options.

5. Talk up what you do.

Know your strengths. And without undermining them or highlighting skills you’re still developing, explain why outsourcing an item to an expert with qualifications specific to your needs will allow you to really make good on your best professional assets—creativity, idea development, campaign management, etc.

6. Be confident.

You know what you’re doing; act like it when you approach the higher-ups. Further, by truly planning and finding the answers to every question you can expect to be asked, you are equipping yourself with the information you need to defend your request.

7. Be persistent.

This doesn’t mean to be annoying; instead, just don’t give up. If you’re told no the first time, make sure you measure the success of each subsequent campaign, as well as track how much better it could have done with X more resources. That way, you have a bigger story to tell and more evidence to support your case the next time you head in.