2019 Budget Planner: 5 Key Questions to Ask
It’s that time of year, when B2B marketers create their big ideas and big plans for market domination in 2019.
And as every good marketer knows, next year’s plans begin with a review of this year: what campaigns worked and what didn’t? For most B2B marketers and for most companies, 2018 was a good year. Customers were buying, and many companies will finish 2018 with solid gains in revenue and likely profitability. Marketers are faced with that never-ending challenge – sure, this year was good. But what will you do for me NEXT year? How do we ensure that you don’t lose the traction that was gained last year?
The intersection of marketing and technology is where the competitive advantage is for marketers these days. Consider this: today everybody has a website, everybody has a landing page, everybody has a Request a Quote button. We’re all sending emails to push people to our websites, and we’re all working as hard as we can to win the search engine position battle. So, we’re all doing the same things. Who wins? Who gets the prospect into their sales funnel first? What can you do differently and offer your customers that the others can’t? It’s become clear in recent years that a more nuanced approach, one leveraged by targeted sales activity, is needed to grow businesses.
In our White Paper, “2019 Budget Planner: 5 Key Questions to Ask,” we identify the five core questions to ask yourself and your marketing team to begin building out your 2019 program. We address questions about balancing digital and traditional, how to decide how much to invest in brand-building versus lead generation, what marketing technology moves you should make, and even an e-store/Amazon discussion.
- Switch Message -- we've come up with a structure for building a compelling Message Architecture for brands. While there are a variety of message pillars we discuss, one in particular is a priority: what's your "switch" message, the points that get a prospect to switch from a competitor to you? This seems out-of-reach for many companies, difficult to uncover, and rarely included in the message audits we conduct. In order for a message to be compelling, your web copy, emails, marketing materials, trade show strategies -- all of it -- MUST include the message points that will get customers to change.
- Digital or Traditional, Sales or Marketing -- let's discuss a marketing approach that uses all four corners of the marketing eco-system. It's not a digital only world, and it's not a marketing only world. Effective programs bridge the gap between all four corners of the quadrant in ways that drive better ROI.
- Are you investing enough in your brand? It's easy to de-volve on the tactical metrics of marketing, without paying attention to how well you're converting brand awareness into brand preference. Our testing shows that content from recognized and preferred brands outpull those less known. So while it's tempting just to push more emails and retargeting ads out there, your metrics will suffer over time without the foundational programs that drive awareness/preference building.
- How's your Martech Stack? Savvy marketers are realizing their companies need to build and improve upon the tech tools that drive marketing, and tighten the integration of those tools in order to make the funnel work better and cost less.
- Amazon and E-Store revenues remain an emerging area for companies to invest in, but we're seeing B2B clients show more and more success with their own Buy Now stores on their sites, as well as an Amazon presence. The question of whether has been put to rest in most C-suites, and now they're turning to their marketers to craft a strategy for generating online revenue.
We’ve also included a pretty simple Budget Planner to answer every CEO’s question: how much SHOULD we budget for marketing? The math can be pretty clear – if you want to grow X% and your average order size is Y, then the number of leads and quotes that drive the sales funnel dictate the answer. Check out the Budget Planner, and put together a marketing budget framework that finally stands up to the CFO’s scrutiny!