While it may seem like an intimidating process to get a budget approved, below are steps you can take to be prepared and go into the room with confidence and get your 2020 numbers and initiatives approved.
Know Your Audience
As you prepare your budget, it’s vital to know who will be approving the numbers. When you navigate through the budgeting process and planning out your strategy, be sure to identify what each executive needs to do to approve the budget, including their roles and interests. Why their interests? When you go focus on appealing to the executive’s interests and what they are going to get out of the approval process, you are less likely to go on the defense and focus more on the results.
Below is a cheat sheet on what you can prepare to discuss with whom:
- The CEO – When presented with a proposed budget, the CEO will be asking “What am I going to get out of this budget?” Be prepared to discuss: Profitability, overall business goals and a balance sheet.
- The CMO – The Chief Marketing Officer will primarily be concerned with customer churn, identifying who was once a customer and why he/she is no longer customer. It’s a metric that often gets looked out of budgeting, but one that the CMO will be keeping in mind. Be prepared to discuss: Organizational and department goals, implementation time, customer acquisition cost, churn and the lifetime value of a customer.
- The COO / CTO – One of the primary concerns of a COO/CTO is security, and he/she will be particularly concerned about the security of your company data, especially if your budget includes a website. Be prepared to discuss: Resource requirements and the impact to current systems.
- The CRO – The Chief Revenue Officer will be primarily concerned with how fast a proposed solution will improve the funnel along with the volume of qualified leads. Be prepared to discuss: Pipeline velocity, lead count, lead quality and close rate.
Know Your Answers
As you walk into the room armed with data and research on your current competitors and systems, you are ready to present what solutions are working/not working and the goals you would like to accomplish for the new year. Here are a few questions that may appear during the approval process:
- How does this support goal achievement? Depending on who is in the room, be sure to address each specific executives’ goals, from the CEO, to the CRO to the CMO.
- What are you willing to do without? Know within your recommendations what you are willing to do without or present at a future meeting.
- What current systems? It’s important to know what current system are you willing to sacrifice in order to move the company forward.
- What have we done before, and what were the results? If you done it before and it didn’t return results, don’t blame the tool. For example, if you bought a Google Ads account and didn’t do anything with it, that is the operator’s responsibility for why it didn’t work, not the tool.
- How will success be measured? Never do anything unless you have meaningful data behind it. Each executive should identify the numbers clearly and how you obtained those numbers.
- Who is responsible and who is accountable? For instance, you may have a person who does accounting, but he/she may not be responsible for getting it done. Be prepared to identify who will make sure that task completed.
What they taught you in school in true: show your work and know your numbers inside and out to have the best responses to these questions.
If you want to learn more about identifying the right data to present, watch the May 2019 webinar recording, Effectively Using Data to Optimize Your Marketing Funnel.
Budgeting for Ongoing Programs
Sometimes, your marketing budget doesn’t websites. There may be some ongoing marketing programs, such as digital advertising or experiential marketing, that your organization may want to pursue. When you budget for programs, here are some considerations:
- How does this move the needle? Be sure your organization has a clearly defined mission. Keep in mind how these initiatives will move the organization forward.
- How often are we going to review the performance? When you’re implementing a program, the goal is not to set it and forget. Set up meetings to review the performance on a monthly or quarterly basis.
- What are the long-term contracts? Can you identify flexibility in the program? If not, there should be. The world is going to change, and new trends will arise that may disrupt these programs.
- What is the highest impact? If it’s an initiatives such a digital marketing, be sure to conduct A/B testing to see what content resonates most with your audience.
When presenting a budget for ongoing programs, you may have three to five initiatives you’re asking for approval. Be prepared to defend one key initiative that would be most beneficial to your organization.
Need that extra confidence boost? At Webolutions, our purpose is to empower passionate people to thrive. Get a free website analysis by calling 303-300-2640, emailing [email protected] or scheduling an appointment.