Make CFOs ♥ Marketing | Part 6 – Budget It Out

ThinkstockPhotos-486743491-smIf you’ve read even half of this series, you’ll see one trend – CFOs like numbers and they love their business-savvy marketers. Marketing is not fluffy, nor is it a money pit. It is your job as a marketer to change that perception, by showing them how marketing is vital to the company’s success. I’ve always said, “Without marketing, no one has a job to do, even the owner of the company.”
So, how can you make CFOs happy while getting the tools you need? Insist on a budget. If you’re not working with an annual budget, you may think it is easier to ask for permission for each small project instead of a large annual allocation. It’s not! You become the pest that is always asking for something. When you have a budget, you plan, negotiate, have one large discussion, and set it. By following an approved and justified budget you should be able to do what’s needed (within marketing’s parameters), and your CFO should hold you accountable for both activity and results.
The other power of a budget is that you can invest in big ticket items like rebrands, new websites, and tradeshow displays because it is budgeted. You may need to have those items span two budget years (remind me to talk to you about our plan to do that – it is awesome). Many times, CFOs are hesitant to approve a new website because of the cost, or they’re not sure what you’ve spent already this year and what you will ask for down the road. But, you know as well as I that website technology is changing rapidly, and to look like an industry leader, you must keep up. That means budgeting for updates, maintenance, SEO, automation, visitor tracking, and even redesigns. When you have a budget, you can simply tell them that it fits in the budget and give them your business reasons why you need it – talk dollars and ROI.
Something many marketers overlook in their budgets is internal marketing. Most marketers focus on getting new work and making current clients happy, that is external marketing. Internal marketing is about increasing employee retention and efficiency, and creating pervasive stakeholder-thinking cultures. You have two ways to make money, bring in more work or make the work you win more profitable. Internal marketing facilitates the latter. When done well, it brings in new work too. This internal client generation happens because when your employees are engaged and connected to the company’s profitability they make your customers happy, who, in turn, hire your company repeatedly and refer your company.
Want to talk about marketing plans and budgets, or internal marketing? Give us a call and we’ll make you look like the marketing rock star you were born to be!