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Tag Archive: build marketing credibility

B2B marketing tip #115: Let the defense rest

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekWe’ve all been there:  A sales person or executive questions a marketing decision, and we react better than the best defense lawyer in town. Next time, let the defense rest and work to preserve the relationship instead.

Avoid long explanations about the decision itself, or cataloguing your credentials. Instead, look for common ground to move forward. Try to get at the underlying concern or objective—which may have nothing to do with a particular marketing tactic.

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Build your best B2B marketing budget

Six tips to smooth the process and win approval

After six years of marketing consulting, I am still surprised by the number of sophisticated, established companies that operate without a marketing plan or formal budget.

Whether your organization requires it or not, the budget process is a smart investment.

Good budgets achieve the three Cs

Developing a budget is about more than just numbers; it’s an exercise in consensus, credibility and confidence.

  • Consensus comes as the organization agrees to marketing goals and priorities.
  • Credibility builds as marketing outlines measurable activities and past results.
  • Confidence occurs as stakeholders see a clear link between their priorities and how marketing will support them.

A sound budget:

  • Aligns marketing efforts with organizational goals.
  • Empowers marketing staff with clear priorities and spending parameters.
  • Streamlines the execution of marketing campaigns.
  • Enables strategic relationships and volume discounts with key suppliers.

Beware of fast-track methods

There are several approaches to budgeting, and the strongest starts from scratch. Beware of fast-track methods that simply increase or decrease last year’s total by a percentage, or base marketing expenses on a percentage of revenue. Macro changes like these rarely account for fluctuations in sales, one-time expenses such as product launches or acquisitions, or efficiencies gained by automation and testing. These approaches also undermine connectivity—the critical process of showing how the proposed budget number correlates to a desired outcome.

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B2B marketing tip #49: Dictionary, please

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekImprove the relationship between marketing and sales by documenting the definition of a qualified lead.

Use objective criteria, such as demographic information about the business or yes/no questions a prospect can easily answer.

Be clear on which answers indicate a qualified buyer ready to be passed on to sales, and which prospects it remains marketing’s responsibility to nurture.

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B2B marketing tip #37: Go public

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekMake it easy for sales reps, executives, the product team and other stakeholders to know what’s happening in marketing. Publish a calendar that shares drop dates and target audiences for lead generation efforts, ad campaigns, tradeshows and customer communications.

Issue frequent reminders with links to the calendar and examples of upcoming programs. Proactive internal communication builds a strong base of support for the marketing department.

Follow the B2B Marketing “Tip of the Week” every Monday for a short, practical recommendation to improve your marketing effectiveness. Looking for suggestions in a specific area? Tweet me your request @ThinkSpringMktg or contact me.

B2B marketing tip #15: Budget bliss

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekFinance is more accountable than ever for marketing expenditures. Don’t wait until you’re asked to cut costs—be proactive and get to know the staff who handle your payables, forecasting, and annual budget allocations right now. Show your willingness to be part of the process and make their work easier.

Synch up on the best way to handle day-to-day activities, such as creating purchase orders, submitting vendor invoices for payment, or preparing for incidental expenses when you’re on-site at an event. Find out your General Ledger (GL) codes and how finance categorizes marketing expenses. Help forecast upcoming marketing spending. 

 

Check out the Springboard blog every Monday for the B2B Marketing “Tip of the Week” — a short, practical recommendation to improve your marketing effectiveness. Looking for suggestions in a specific area? Tweet me your request @ThinkSpringMktg or contact me.

B2B marketing tip #14: Tally your productivity

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekTrack your time and activities for two weeks, then use this information to improve efficiency, better forecast your availability for future projects, or to justify additional resources. Note where urgent requests and administrative tasks prevent you from accomplishing more strategic activities.

List your major activities in a spreadsheet, such as “Plan fall tradeshow,” “Generate monthly leads report,” or “Route newsletter copy for review.” Log your time against these activities in 15-minute intervals. Avoid broad categories like “Miscellaneous” or “Meetings.”

Check out the Springboard blog every Monday for the B2B Marketing “Tip of the Week” — a short, practical recommendation to improve your marketing effectiveness. Looking for suggestions in a specific area? Tweet me your request @ThinkSpringMktg or contact me.

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