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Tag Archive: marketing budget

B2B marketing tip #277: It is ours to question why

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekSwamped by marketing tactics and ad hoc requests? Struggling to create a plan—or stick to it? Regain control with one simple question: “What is the objective?”

Next time sales or management (or even another marketer) asks for an unplanned activity, turn the conversation from tactics to strategy by identifying the goal of the request. Start with why there’s a perceived need, not what the solution is.

Then, evaluate whether the new tactic is the best way to meet the objective, and whether it’s more of a priority than your planned campaigns. Be prepared to suggest alternatives that may better reach the goal

B2B marketing tip #241: The 3 Cs of good budgets

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekDeveloping a sound marketing 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; and
  • Confidence occurs as stakeholders see a clear link between their priorities and how marketing will support them.

Five steps to fast-track your B2B marketing plan

CalendarHelp! The first quarter’s here and we need a plan now. If this cry for help sounds familiar, don’t panic. There’s no time like the present to set your course.

Follow these five steps to expedite your marketing roadmap:

1. Start small

There’s no minimum timeframe for planning. What’s important is defining activities that will help the organization achieve its objectives. Tackle the next six weeks or 90 days and work your way up to a six- or 12-month plan.

2. Prioritize

The marketing wish list will always exceed available resources, so be realistic. Focus your plan on your top three channels, products or organizational objectives and how to support them. Sort potential activities into categories: Required, Desired and Nice. Execute programs in the same order.

3. Delegate

It’s marketing’s job to support organizational goals—not to create them. Ask leadership to share their objectives. Use sales targets, revenue plans and product business plans for guidance. This information gathering will speed your timeline and engage the team.

4. Dedicate time

Like oil and water, strategic thinking and day-to-day marketing tasks don’t mix. Schedule 60-minute blocks of uninterrupted time to draft your plan: no email, no phones, no meetings. If you’re in a high-traffic area, work in a conference room. Make a checklist of items you need to complete, and set a reasonable goal for each work session.

5. Expect revisions

Every plan is a working document, one you will likely adapt as market conditions or business priorities change. When this happens, be flexible, involve others and use the plan as a communications tool. Add or change activities with the same Required-Desired-Nice categories used to develop the plan.

As with any skill, the more you plan, the more proficient you’ll become. And, even a small plan beats a reactive, ad hoc approach.

B2B marketing tip #192: Budget bliss

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekFinance is more involved than ever in marketing. Don’t wait until you’re asked about expenses—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 at an event. Find out your General Ledger (GL) codes and how finance categorizes marketing expenses. Offer to help with forecasting so you can be part of this critical decision-making process.

B2B marketing tip #176: Test and learn

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekSet aside a percentage of the marketing budget each year to try new activities. Be sure to document your objectives, measure performance and demonstrate to leadership what you learn.

Seen+Heard: 2013 B2B marketing benchmarks

Seen + HeardFor this week’s “Best of the Web,” the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs team up for their annual survey of trends in B2B content marketing—usage, spending and results.

While spend is increasing for 2013 and more than 90% of B2B marketers have a content marketing program, in the form of social media articles, blogs, e-newsletters, webinars, videos and other formats, the confidence gap is also growing, with fewer companies certain their tactics generate results.

Check it out.>>

Ready to move your content marketing program forward? Get the skinny on content marketing.

Every Friday, Seen+Heard presents a link to some of the best B2B marketing thinking on the web. Have a great B2B article to share or a topic you’d like to see? Tweet me @ThinkSpringMktg or contact me.

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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Seen+Heard: Build your best budget

Seen + HeardIf you’ve ever struggled to find the right numbers, gain consensus from team members or make your marketing budget process more like a discipline and less like a guessing game, then this week’s “Best of the web” is for you.

The Harvard Business Review shares three quick tips for creating a realistic budget.

Check it out.>>

Every Friday, Seen+Heard presents a link to some of the best B2B marketing thinking on the web. Have a great B2B article to share or a topic you’d like to see? Tweet me @ThinkSpringMktg or contact me.

B2B marketing tip #48: Print smart

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekIs your marketing budget tied up in a dustry storeroom stuffed with boxes of brochures? Investigate print-on-demand options that facilitate high-quality, short-run output. Use this method to reduce costs, improve accuracy and even customize materials by sales rep or territory.

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 #44: The benefits of membership

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekAssociation memberships can add up quickly, especially when each individual or department signs up separately. Centralize the budget for dues, subscriptions and sponsorships, then negotiate group discounts.

Document (and use) additional benefits of membership, such as directory listings, sponsorships, advertising and speaking opportunities, list rental and discounted event attendance.

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.

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