If your business hasn’t gone digital by 2019, you risk becoming irrelevant. Going full digital can come at a cost, however, and you may need to ask your boss to increase your marketing budget in order to keep up with the times. Planning for such a meeting is important, because your boss isn’t just going to give you a budget increase without seeing a strategic plan. This post outlines five tips for packaging your proposal in such a way that eliminates any worries or fears your boss may have while giving them a high level view of your plan to lead the business to marketing success.
Secret #1: Perspective
It’s no secret that the world of marketing is rapidly evolving as digital marketing is becoming more and more important. Often times, your boss may not realize how the marketing landscape has changed, or may fail to recognize that their business is falling behind by not updating its processes. By providing an overview of the evolution of the digital marketing landscape, you can properly illustrate to your boss the way trends are moving. Some questions you need to have answered include:
- Where was the marketing landscape five years ago compared to now?
- What new technologies are improving efficiency and processes?
- What trends is your business already utilizing that have shown good ROI on time, money or resources?
- What trends are other businesses implementing that are returning time, money and resources?
Secret #2: Undeniable Proof
If there’s one thing managers appreciate, it’s hard numbers and statistics. They want to see legitimate proof something works before investing any money into it. Having these facts in your hands when you walk in your boss’s office with your proposal will make things go much smoother.
Statistics: Prove that you’ve done your research. For example, sharing a statistic such as the fact that inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads (Hubspot) will be music to your boss’s ears.
Data: Collect current data from your sales rep, CRM system and analytics reports. What is the current state of your marketing efforts? Do a little digging around to find out how your competitors are doing and what processes they’ve deployed to get to where they are today.
Case Studies: So you’ve given your boss statistics and hard data. Now back all of it up with a success story. Are you trying to expand your marketing budget so you can include more digital advertisements? Find a company in your industry that has done this and saw massive return. Or, use a story from a customer you’ve found from your current digital marketing efforts. Sharing such stories with your boss will help motivate them to increase your marketing budget.
Secret #3: Understanding
People will often reject ideas they do not understand, or that they may be skeptical of. Because of this, you need to make sure you’ve done the legwork—all your boss should have to do is read or hear your proposal, and fully understand it and how it would impact the company. Some questions you’ll want to be able to answer are:
- How will this plan solve problems or make life easier?
- How will it integrate with existing processes, software or tools?
- How is going to save the company time, money and resources?
- Will the company need to take extra steps, such as investing in more tools, staff, etc?
Secret #4: KPI’s Prove ROI
Your boss needs to be confident they’re going to see positive results before approving a bigger budget. If they’re going to invest more money, they need to be sure they’re going to get even more money back. This is where digital marketing KPIs come in. Pick the most important key performance indicators and share how you will evaluate. KPI’s to focus on include:
- Conversion rate
- Cost per lead
- Revenue per lead
- % sales from digital
- Customer retention rate
- Customer lifetime value
Be prepared to share the current state of these metrics with your boss, and have thoroughly researched forecasts for what these metrics may look like after implementing your plan. Include a tracking strategy for these KPI’s in your proposal.
- Where will these evaluations be recorded?
- How often will they be shared and analyzed?
Secret #5: The Counter Argument
Often times, when afraid to ask for something, you may have heard the advice, “the worst they can tell you is no.” This is holds true in the case of making the proposal for a larger budget—but rejection is something you should plan for. Your boss might veto your proposal for a number of reasons including:
- It costs too much money
- It’s going to take up too much time
- Your business simply doesn’t have the resources at this time
You need to consider every reason your boss might say no and be prepared to counter it. One technique for this would be to create a SWOT analysis evaluating the current standing of the company. Outlining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats gives you the opportunity to define how you will minimize company risk. In other words, if this plan fails, how are you going to make it right? How will you turn it around so it’s not a major loss for the company? By easing your boss’s worries, he or she is more likely to agree to an expanded budget.
Remember to be flexible in such meetings. There are sometimes high-level problems you are unaware of that may cause your boss to deny a larger marketing budget. By leaving such a meeting open for negotiation and discussion, you’re likely to have a more pleasant meeting and a better chance at getting what you want. Be prepared to negotiate right back but remember—your boss is on your side, you are a team. You both want what’s best for the company and it’s important keep that in mind at all times.