With 2024 right around the corner, you’ve probably already begun building your marketing plan, and we know that can be a huge undertaking. Many people think of marketers as a team with pretty words and graphics, but marketing is both a science and an art. Marketers need to know the math behind lead generation and company revenue to perform best.
Read on to learn about some tips and tricks around where your peers are putting their marketing budget and how they present their plans to the rest of their organization.
Budgeting isn’t necessarily an exact science, and many companies approach it differently. Some take a very mathematical approach based on how much revenue they need to generate and how many opportunities it will take to meet that revenue based on their average win rate. Other companies have a fixed budget based on a percentage of yearly company revenue.
It is also more than just ‘how much does this event cost?’ or ‘how much can we spend on paid ads?’ Budgeting includes salaries and calculating how much time your team is working on one project versus another. It’s making sure goals are aligned – because, ultimately, time is money and having a team of marketers with a common goal will mean your budget and your plan will go farther.
What Comes First? The Budget or the Plan?
Many technology marketing experts begin with a plan. Oftentimes, this could start with a calendar of events and scheduled campaigns, then they add in the strategic-level plans and revenue projections to better align their plans to their goals.
One best practice for doing this is the “rocks” strategy, in which you add your flagship marketing initiatives first – the biggest impacts on your plan and your budget. Then, fill in the “pebbles” and “sand,” in that order, as they fit. With a full plan, you’re better able to determine which items need the most amount of your budget and what room you have to make changes, try new things, etc.
Where Does the Budget Go?
Here are a few top places technology marketers allocate their budget, aside from salaries:
- Events and campaigns
- Content development
- Marketing automation software
Of course, these segments will vary from company to company. Even in the same industry, marketing strategies can vary drastically based on company goals such as lead generation, customer retention, rebranding, etc. However, it all circles back to what provides the best ROI, ultimately leading to revenue generation.
How To Present Your Budget To Your Executive Leadership
So, you’ve done all the work. You’ve planned your rocks, pebbles, and sand marketing initiatives for the year and have a good understanding of where your money is going to go. Now, it’s time to present it to leadership and make sure you get the money you’re asking for.
Here are a few best practices for information to include in meetings like this:
- What’s going on in the current market – what your competitors are doing and what you need to do to stay relevant.
- Plan summary – an overview of every activity you’re planning to do in the coming year, including campaigns, conferences, and more.
- Projections and meeting goals – be prepared to back up the potential value of every activity you mention, and share why you believe in your budget and plan.
The technology marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and adapting to what’s working and what’s not often requires a regular budget re-allocation. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to approach your budget or allocate your money – but hopefully learning what your peers are doing makes it less intimidating.
Watch this session to hear more from industry experts on their thoughts about budgeting and planning.
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