You’ve been reading extensively about Web Presence Management (WPM), learning about the buyer’s journey, personas, and how WPM represents the next evolution for digital marketers. A critical next step is getting marketing budget to build a killer web presence team so you can acquire the personnel and technology necessary to have a powerful marketing infrastructure in place.
If you want to secure an investment, you’re going to have to convey the benefits of Web Presence Management to your management or executive team. Key to this is understanding that if you are talking to a marketing executive, they will expect to talk about new opportunities in a fairly specific way. This may be different from what other non-executive colleagues you communicate with regularly may be expecting.
Going into the budget procurement process, ask yourself two questions: what does the marketing budget holder want to hear to commit resources, and how does he/she want to hear it? Keeping these questions top of mind as you go thru the process will give you the best chance of getting the marketing budget you need to succeed.
Follow these three steps to get marketing budget for your WPM team:
1) Build a Business Case that Will Excite Your Marketing Budget Holder
When making a decision to invest in something new, executives want specifics on what they can expect in return for that investment—this is the ‘what’ of the ‘what do they want to hear?’. Don’t go into a budget meeting with a general request for budget to ‘grow our web presence’. Instead, build a business case that will show your executive how you expect an investment in content, search and social will impact the bottom line of his/her business.
In making the business case, don’t be afraid to be specific about how you will impact your company’s business goals. For example, if a company goal is to reach more 18-24 year old purchasers, be bold and show how an investment in targeted, early stage content will create more contact with that demographic.
Sure, there’s some risk in being specific about what you expect to accomplish, but you can mitigate the risk by being conservative with your estimates. And, more importantly, there is at least equal risk in being too general and have the marketing executive dismiss it because the opportunity sounds like a vague, nebulous future promise.
2) Speak in Executive Language
Speaking the language of the marketing executive is the ‘how’ of the ‘how do they want to hear it?’ It’s easy to start talking about ‘backlinks’, ‘search positions’ and ‘anchor text’, but if we expect to be thought of as a business leader that belongs at the executive table, we’ve got to evolve our lexicon. This means talking about metrics like conversions and revenue, not practitioner-centric metrics like backlinks.
Don’t think like an SEO, think like a business person. Talk in ROI metrics and KPIs they care about, not keywords and backlinks. In general, a transition to speaking in business terms rather than technical SEO terms is good for the career of a Web Presence Manager, and gives them a chance to communicate on the same wavelength as their executives.
Some might argue that it’s enough to build a business case to convince your marketing executive to invest in your new WPM initiative. But, remember, as the marketing budget holder, your executive gets pitches for new investments all the time. The more you can do to show you’ve thought out how you will spend his/her money, the greater the chance of success.
3) Show How You Will Use the Marketing Budget
You may decide it is enough to give your executive a high-level look into how you plan to spend his/her budget as illustrated in an example below, or you may decide to take it to the next level and specifically map out what your team will look like, the investments in technology you will make, and provide greater detail on the outside consulting services you will engage.
Whichever approach you choose to take, just be sure to provide some kind of view into how you will invest the marketing budget holder's dollars so that you can show him/her you have thought the plan through.
Get the Marketing Budget Your WPM Team Needs
Getting the marketing budget you need is a critical first step in achieving success with your brand’s web presence management. Central to success is that you present a strong business case to your budget holder using the metrics your marketing budget holder cares about rather than traditional SEO and content metrics.
And, by taking it a step further and explicitly showing your budget holder how you will invest the budget to achieve maximum ROI, you will increase your chances of success at getting the budget you need to succeed.