How to Get More Budget for B2B Inbound Marketing
Want to obtain a higher budget for your inbound marketing efforts? Find out why proving ROI is critical for gaining executive buy-in, and securing budget.
Published: 28 Oct 2015
5 minutes read
Gaining more budget is the biggest priority for marketers this year. In fact, for 32% of companies with fewer than 200 employees, the main priority is gaining more marketing budget, increasing to 52% for companies with more than 200 employees, as highlighted in HubSpot’s State of Inbound Report.
The report discovered that 31% of executives favoured inbound marketing tactics, in comparison to 24% of executives who preferred outbound marketing. However, it’s important to realise that inbound marketing is still an unknown quantity to many people. Many directors and decision makers still don’t know exactly how B2B inbound marketing works, or the results they can expect from inbound. Therefore, in order to secure more budget for 2016, you need to be able to present provable return on investment for your inbound marketing strategy.
Provable ROI = More marketing budget
Provable ROI is the key to unlocking more marketing budget for 2016 and getting support from the senior executive level. In fact, companies who can prove ROI are twice as likely to gain more budget and nine times less likely to see a decrease in budget next year, reports HubSpot. Therefore, now could be the perfect opportunity to gain support from decision makers and prove the worth of inbound marketing over other tactics.
Why? Simple – a large proportion of marketers are still not tracking ROI effectively in the first place. As the State of Inbound report summarises: 'No ROI tracking = no demonstrable ROI. No ROI = no budget.” Tracking ROI and analytics results in a double positive for marketers. This year, marketers were 20% more likely to receive a higher budget if ROI had been tracked in the first place. Secondly, by checking analytics three times or more a week, marketers are more likely to achieve a positive ROI.
Aligning sales and marketing for provable ROI
So how do you actually go about tracking ROI successfully? Marketing automation and an alignment with sales is critical. Firstly, using marketing automation tools makes it easier to identify the origin of a prospect and track their progress through the sales cycle. By having an aligned relationship with sales, not only are leads sent to sales better qualified, they can also be easily linked to your marketing team’s activity – highlighting the value of your marketing campaigns.
With marketing automation’s proven correlation with a higher, trackable ROI, it’s no surprise that it protects marketers from receiving a lower budget. In fact, only 2% of companies using automation software saw their budget decrease in 2015.
Establishing a Marketing-Sales service level agreement (SLA) also leads to higher ROI. A SLA refers to a set criteria a lead must meet before it can be deemed a qualified lead and is passed over to sales. Not only does having an SLA save your sales team time, it also has a positive impact on lead generation. Furthermore, as the State of Inbound report highlights, the presence of a SLA also correlates with budget and staff increases, with 57% of companies enjoying a budget increase.
Why you should consider marketing automation
In order to effectively measure ROI and bridge the gap between sales and marketing processes, marketers should consider using marketing automation.
Marketing automation enables marketers to group all marketing actively into a single campaign. Social media, blogs, guides and email workflows can all be linked together, enabling marketers to successfully track the journey of a prospect as they progress through the sales cycle.
Having this insight is incredibly useful for two reasons. Firstly, marketers can award a sales win to activity performed by marketing, such as when a prospect downloads a guide and then requests a consultation. It’s also possible to assess the lead’s source, such as a social media referral. With this information, marketers can effectively compare marketing lead acquisition costs against the cash-flow generated from new clients, presenting an accurate ROI rate.
Secondly, tracking ROI helps marketers to fine-tune their marketing strategy and improve their ROI in the long-term. In most instances, marketing automation supplies you with analytical tools, making it possible to report against key metrics such as click rates on a Call to Action and form submissions.
For example, during your analysis, you may find that your CTA is experiencing a high level of clicks, but the corresponding form has a low conversion rate. In this instance, it is clear that either the form is asking for too much information in exchange for the quality of the asset, or the landing page copy doesn’t effectively sell in the value of your content download. With this information you can fine-tune the many moving parts of your marketing strategy, which in the long-haul will improve lead conversion rates and subsequently your ROI.
Interested in finding out how marketing automation can help your budgeting team secure more budget? Request a free analytical HubSpot demo by clicking the button below and learn how to effectively measure and report on your ROI.