Posted by Tom Coombes on Tue, Oct 06 2015

All Posts by Tom Coombes

Five things to think about for budgeting for next year

It’s coming up to the time of year when businesses plan their budgets. Putting in place the correct provision for a proper and thorough communications plan is becoming more and more important for an organization to truly grow and thrive. Rick Jacobsen, who during his time at Intel created their first end-to-end online marketing and sales program by connecting all of the data from marketing investment, to revenue, and who is now Senior Marketing Counsel at Cognito, outlines five important factors to consider below.

Five things to think about for budgeting for next year:

The CMO is on the rise. CEOs are increasingly less tolerant of sales and marketing working in silos. Sales and marketing are often the largest cost centers for businesses. For the most part, marketing has not been held accountable for revenue. All too often marketing confuses a KPI with an ROI. Today, the CMO can become the CEOs most trusted advisor and is called upon to address some of the businesses most challenging issues, such as, growth, loyalty and brand.

Here are five things to think about that can help you, as a CMO, get there faster.

1- Data: Shine a light on the topic of revenue

Determine how well you contributed to revenue last year. Start by picking the five events that you spent the most money on last year. Use the data from the attendee list and the data from bookings to see how much new revenue each event generated.

This simple exercise will tell you volumes about if you have the data, if your team agrees on what the data means, and how well you are working with the sales team. Ask your team if this data reflects the ROI of the marketing investment. I promise, if you haven’t done this yet, you will be amazed with what you hear.

2- Improve Relationships: Get to know your audience

Create one picture that shows how you will bring your targeted customer from the dark all of the way to purchase intent.

This will reflect your messaging strategy.  Perhaps your messaging strategy includes specific messages for Awareness, Interest, Consideration and Purchase Intent. This is good, but make sure the exercise of messaging strategy doesn’t become an exercise for its own sake.

Turn the exercise inside out and draw a picture of one new customer, and show, on one page, how that new customer moves from discovery all of the way to purchase.

Plan next year’s investment based on:

1-    How you make yourself relevant to the conversation (i.e. Awareness)

2-    How you listen to understand what problem the customer is trying to solve. (i.e. Interest)

3-    How you provide solutions for consideration. (i.e. Consideration)

4-    Finally, how your team is prepared for a conversation with the customer about a specific product, and how it solves their problem. (i.e. Purchase Intent)

3- Plan to be Social By Design

Identify the top three websites where your targeted customer hangs out, where they go to validate their ideas with birds of a feather. Plan content that uses a 3-5 minute video or animation. Also for each of these pieces premium content plan 3 to 7 small bits of eye candy that can be used via social media and viewed on smart phones to bring awareness to this premium content and helps drive traffic to the website for viewing.

4- Integrated Marketing with Online Sales in Mind

Online sales, with lead nurturing, requires all the hard work of traditional marketing, plus the additional work of integrating all the various sales and marketing silos together.

It is really important to understand that the marketing activities sit upon the strategy work.

This is good news for anybody doing traditional marketing today. 

Traditional marketing typically starts with figuring out what you can do with what you have today, and progresses towards events, content syndication, product launches, partner programs, and press releases.

The goal of online nurturing and sales is to capture all the value of each of these activities and integrating them into a seamless experience for your customer.

5- Move closer to ROI Management with Operations in One Picture

Create one picture of your marketing operations workflow.

At a minimum, show:

1-    Were marketing investments are made

2-    Where project teams fare ormed

3-    Where the customer opt-in is made

4-    Where automated marketing fits

5-    Each stage of the marketing funnel

6-    Each stage of the sales funnel

7-    Where revenue is made

Wrap up- Preparing for ROI Management

ROI Management requires all of these steps plus a comprehensive analytics solution.

Very few organizations have achieved these five, seemingly simple things. Yet, all of this data together is required to manage an ROI on your marketing investments. Start with the data you have today, and identify the natural next steps that lead you towards this ultimate goal. It will take considerable time and energy to connect all the dots and do ROI Management. Start planning today.


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