Asking for more budget dollars is about as popular as asking for a raise; nobody wants to be the messenger, but everyone wants to be the recipient. Regardless, when you need that budget increase, you’re going to have to ask. The key lies in doing your homework and presenting your argument well. Here are five steps to guide you in building your case for a digital marketing budget increase.
Step 1) Get the facts.
One of the best ways to bolster your case for a larger marketing budget is to provide statistics. One great place to get them for inbound marketing is HubSpot. Most recently, the report, “State of Inbound 2018 Global Results,” offers a wealth of information including:
- 75 percent of inbound marketing teams rate their marketing strategy as effective.
- 53 percent of marketers see higher ROI from inbound versus outbound marketing tactics.
- 60 percent of marketers using inbound practices have increased the quality of their leads.
- 46 percent of marketing teams saw higher budgets in 2018.
- 45 percent of marketers planned to invest in YouTube video in 2018.
- 55 percent of salespeople still struggle with presale activities.
- 55 percent of customers rely on word of mouth (including social media!) when making purchase decisions.
Step 2) Define what you would do with a bigger budget.
Let’s say, hypothetically, you feel your company is digitally behind and needs to catch up so that you’re ready for even bigger changes, like moving to 5G or incorporating voice. The top two things on your list are:
- A redesigned website that is technically up-to-date and better defines the brand.
- Moving to an inbound marketing platform to help track, manage and increase sales.
Obviously, asking for the budget to optimize your website is not a frivolous request. Rather, it’s mandatory if your company is going to survive, let alone thrive. Moreover, successfully moving to inbound marketing will depend upon your ability to modernize your website and prepare it (and your boss) for what’s to come. Inbound itself is not mandatory, but it is one of the best ways to get a handle on your digital marketing, sales and service, improving the company and the bottom line.
Step 3) Prioritize your needs and research them.
Begin by researching the one line item you feel is most essential. Let’s say this is your website overhaul (because without it, the other item on your wish list would not work as well, if at all).
Next, methodically inspect your website and define each aspect that needs changing, deleting and/or replacing to best represent your brand. If this exercise proves difficult, try taking a refresher course by reading our blog, “Developing a Corporate Branding Identity.” It will help you stay on track and on target.
As you’re going through page by page, also try to visualize potential improvements to your website. If years have passed since your last website design experience, read the HubSpot blog, “Redesign Your Website,” which is not only illuminating, but has several handy resources attached as well.
If this task is completely beyond your scope, you can talk to a web-design agency with in-house experts who are up-to-date on everything from search engine optimization to mobile-friendly design to content management systems. Many agencies can also assist with writing and posting content, managing AdWords and other paid advertising, handling creation and posting of social media, and more.
Step 4) Obtain information about associated costs.
As for costs, there are two choices: Handle it in-house or hire a design firm. If you choose to hire a web-design agency, you will need to get multiple quotes, or at least a general range of costs from several firms. Before you begin calling, check websites for work portfolios and testimonials; talk to co-workers, friends, business peers and family; and ask for recommendations based on experience.
Regarding inbound marketing, various platforms can help you create landing pages and forms, automate your email and rev up your sales funnel. But why mess around piecemealing software and analytics? You will save time, get far fewer headaches, and have more accurate data by focusing on an all-in-one solution. We recommend HubSpot, the firm that wrote the book (literally) on inbound. The HubSpot website is overflowing with information about inbound marketing, pricing, resources and agencies, all of which can help to implement inbound at your company.
Step 5) Organize your argument.
Now that you have all the fundamental information about website redesign services and inbound marketing, it’s time to build your case. For example, concentrate on gathering the most recent statistics that show how website design can improve sales, customer satisfaction, click-through rates, and every other positive attribute you can find to bolster your argument for a new website. Solid research resources include:
Every credible statistic you can provide will not only bolster your argument, but also prove you know your business and want to do what’s best for the company.
6) Make the presentation.
You’ve gathered tons of information about redesigning websites, adopting inbound marketing, the associated costs, and what to do and when. Now, it’s time to organize everything, create a slide deck, and rehearse your pitch. As you do so, keep the following points in mind for your delivery:
- Tie your presentation to how these marketing initiatives are going to help achieve specific business goals and thus pay for themselves.
- Your boss may not understand digital-marketing jargon, so keep it to a minimum and be prepared to answer questions clearly and simply.
- Remember, it’s not only what could happen if you get the money to achieve your goals, it’s also about the consequences of putting a digital initiative on the backburner.
- Show what the competition is doing. While keeping up with the Joneses isn‘t exactly a great marketing strategy, if your competition already has an optimized website and is inbound savvy, you may be able to leverage that to your advantage.
Don’t forget to include how you will report on the success of your website redesign and your plan to move to inbound via various analytics and feedback. Be positive. All your hard work can be undermined if you complain or have a negative attitude. Be professional, own the topic, and keep the company’s business goals in mind. By doing your homework, learning everything you need to know, and being able to back up your argument with solid statistics, you will be well prepared to make your budget increase request.