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  • Writer's pictureStacey Browning

Marketing is delivering leads. Can we spend more?


You've gotten a repeatable lead gen process in place. Sales and marketing teams are in synch with shared goals. Your business is largely valued or assessed on top line revenue. And yet, the often finance-driven question comes up as to whether the company should keep spending so much on marketing?

As a marketing or business line leader, this is your cue to add to your agenda the regular drumbeat of articulating value. This is truly an example of needing to be so good, you can't be ignored.

I recently worked with a demand-gen leader who faced this challenge. Delivering to the inside sales team, 40+% of their leads, spending was being throttled despite a conviction that more spending would drive incremental in-year growth. This leader didn't gain increased spend first ask, however she leveraged these tactics to make the case:

  1. Make all data points visible ongoing - regularly document results against budget and plans and find a way to share with the relevant stakeholders. Recognize that format matters. A consistent scorecard that's well designed, easy to read and contains clarity around takeaways, makes them more digestible and better internalized. You might have in mind, sharing results in a format that's "boardroom ready."

  2. When justifying spend, start with a phased approach - gain momentum by building on success. Recommend a campaign or pilot that is easier for management to approve than a long-term, longer term expense commitment. If the outcome is what you project, it becomes hard to stop what's working.

  3. Don't sign up for more if you can't deliver - the goal is to be a trusted contributor. Be realistic in setting targets. Be forthright in sharing say what has worked and what hasn't. Building the brand of credibility will support your getting a larger share of the budget.

While extra-communicating can be tiring, this drumbeat of making results transparent is a sign of a maturing marketing capability. Watch out as you and your team share that there's not excessive self-back-patting. Instead, convey any spending and efforts are being recommended for the greater good of the company and its customers.

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