The year is half over, and that means it’s time for many of us to start building the business case for 2012 marketing spending. If you want to get management approval to buy a technology solution for your multi-channel marketing organization, start by looking at the purchase from your CEO or CFO’s perspective.
Nothing you can say will make a CEO or CFO happier than hearing about the areas in the marketing process where you can reduce program costs while increasing ROI. So structure your business case in language that makes sense to your audience.
Start by showing them just how complex multi-channel marketing is — and why outdated manual processes are wasting time, dollars and opportunities. (Remember: leads spoil — the more time a sales rep spends getting a campaign ready to go out the door, or submitting reports, the less time they have to do what they do best: close the deal.)
While you’re looking at your process, don’t forget that dollars spent on technology to manage digital assets, automate email marketing, manage print and collateral, publish microsites and landing pages, build proposals, ads, and customized sales kits, report, track, and monitor your marketing process are dollars you can’t spend on other marketing priorities. So take the time to assess your multi-channel communications and sales enablement processes so that you identify the specific areas where technology can deliver benefits.
The marketing department is the last place in many organizations where complex processes are still managed manually. That’s changing, as more companies recognize the many ways that technology can deliver measurable results. High-performing companies outpace laggards in more than sales — there’s a direct correlation between marketing automation and the bottom line.
A winning business case for a multi-channel distributed marketing platform starts with these five steps.
- Create a business case that ties benefits to high-level initiatives with measurable KPIs that show where benefits are realized in multiple areas.
- Focus on the benefits you can achieve by completing marketing tasks faster, with less wasted time.
- Explain how an integrated digital asset management or marketing automation management solution can reduce search and asset retrieval time.
- Show the time savings available in automating manual tasks like approvals, reporting, external vendor communications, and change management.
- Detail the ways that streamlining the communications process will get sales messages to prospects faster, resulting in better conversion rates and more revenue.
Technology vendors should be happy to help you make your case — and they should arrive for their first meeting with you prepared to show you their own value proposition, based on the real-world experiences documented by current customers. If they can’t (or won’t) do that, perhaps you haven’t found the perfect vendor yet.
Photo Credit: JSmith Photo offered this photo of a budget meeting in Michigan under a Creative Commons License on Flickr.
# # #
Last call for the free webinar on getting the most out of social and digital media without running into compliance problems. If you work in insurance, financial services, healthcare, gaming or another regulated industry, join us tomorrow (Thursday, July 14), at 11 a.m. central time when Distribion, LIMRA, and Socialware will present Drawing the Line Between Personal and Professional Use. Registration is free, but space is limited. Register now.