Marketers are used to having their requests for spending on marketing tools to make their jobs easier refused. The most common reason given is a lack of funds in the marketing budget. What can you do to overcome this barrier to doing better work?
Whether you want to expand your range of marketing tools with simple media monitoring or a comprehensive all-in-one campaign management platform, there’s always someone in the management who will put your wish list on hold (or straight in the trash). When they read your request, the first thing that pops into their heads is money issues, and “no” is always the easiest answer. That’s why you need to start out by focusing on the language of benefits.
No, because… no!
Why do we usually hear “no” in response to requests for new expenses? It’s because denying such requests is always easier than researching the topic and analyzing the potential benefits. Weighing the pros and cons of new investments takes time, something that many decision-makers don’t have. You have to give management hard facts and figures that will allow them to understand your proposals and why they won’t regret the expense.
The standard excuse – no budget
So what about the budget? Is it true that there’s only a certain amount available? Well, yes, but budget limitations are often used as an excuse. It’s the easiest way to close the inconvenient topic. “We just don’t have the money”. In extreme cases, it might be true, but most businesses are not operating on the edge of bankruptcy. And we sincerely hope your company isn’t!
When you hear “We don’t have the money”, you should react as if the answer was “Tell me why we should spend this money”. After all, it’s likely that other funds go to various aspects of the operation of the business so the money is there. Besides, the basic principles of financial management say that there has to be some kind of reserve capital. The challenge is persuading management to spend that money on your request.
Arguments that work
We’ve collected a few tips from people with experience in managerial and mid-level positions. They’ve worked in companies of all sizes, often for leaders of their industries. Use this advice to convince the gatekeepers in your company to invest in the necessary marketing tools. Let’s dive in!
1. Make a simple calculation of the return on the investment (ROI)
ROI is a magic abbreviation that, next to KPI, is the most-used slogan in the business world. You probably already know this term well. As with any investment, you can also predict the return on the purchase of the marketing tool. Such a calculation is an important argument in negotiations with management.
If you’d like to see how the expenditure on a marketing cloud like Synerise creates returns, you should include:
- the cost of the annual subscription for the tool and maintenance costs,
- average purchase amount of your products/services per customer in the last year,
- the number of customers who have made at least one transaction in the last year,
- the number of potential customers.
Create a minimal increase in the number of transactions made by new customers, which both satisfy you and is realistic to achieve using such a tool – five percent, for example. Calculate how much your company can earn with the assumed growth in the next year and compare the result with the purchase costs. You will see for yourself if it is really worth investing and you will have a strong argument for management. Remember that your company can earn just the assumed increase but it can be much higher!
2. Present the business applications
In addition to the money that the company will earn at the end of the day, there are other benefits for your organization when implementing the new tool. Thanks to artificial intelligence algorithms, the employees will have more time for creative work. Increased work efficiency, automation, etc. are equally important. A representative of any such marketing cloud tool can send you a list of such benefits.
When you hear “We don’t have the money”, react as if it was “Why we should spend this money?”.
To tailor the list to your individual needs, you may have to answer a few questions. Sometimes the producers themselves provide specific arguments for using their solutions. Use this knowledge in conversations with whoever controls the purse strings in your company.
3. Invite decision makers to a webinar
It may be a little unusual but it works! After seeing what the solution looks like and what benefits it can bring to the company, your boss will be much more open to dialogue on its purchase. This may not be easy due to lack of time, but it will not hurt to try. Many companies run special webinars that talk about the tool in the context of business development.
4. Share a case study
If a webinar is out of the question, show your boss a case study of a company that has implemented the kind of tool you’re asking for. There’s nothing like proof of success to make your case.
5. Think long-term
In conversations about investing, draw attention to the long-term effects of making the decision.
If we implement this now, we’ll jump ahead of the competition and take the lead in the field, earning more in the long run.
Or it could be the other way around, depending on the position you’re in:
The competition started using this some time ago and they’ve been taking customers from us. If we don’t start using it, we’ll fall way behind them.
6. Find an ally
Before you go to the top of the food chain, meet with the sales or IT department director and try to convince them of your vision. If the tool also benefits them at the same time, you have a good chance of winning an ally who will fight with you to get the green light for the investment.
7. Use an analogy
If you have nothing else left, use your imagination and compare the new marketing tool to, say, a new machine on the production line. If your boss has a tech background, it will be easier to understand the need to invest in new solutions. Think of examples that will appeal to the decision makers.
If none of these tips helps, don’t give up! Keep building your case and knocking on the right doors. When it’s time for a new budget, your persistence can ensure that your marketing tools get added to the list. Good luck!