You may not be "country" enough to know what fence sitting is all about, and you may not be old enough to know what a barnstormer is, so I'm going to lay it out for you. Fence sitters are an indecisive lot. They can't decide which side is greener, so they sit on the fence and do nothing. Barnstormers, on the other hand, are daredevils. Flying a biplane through a small barn is a no-brainer. The heck with the risks—let's do this! At some point, marketing executives are faced with making decisions about strategy and tactics and the degree to which they will be "all-in." When it comes to inbound marketing, there seems to be little middle ground. You're either in, or you're out. Into which of these camps do you fall?
What's the bottom line on any financial statement? Equity. Equity is what's left after you subtract liabilities from assets. Accumulation of equity is why we are in business—unless you just enjoy working for the sake of working! Even non-profits are interested in equity, because they need to be able to show their organization is doing some good—i.e. channeling money where it's needed most. Most executives think of sales and marketing as costs, i.e., necessary evils that you need in order to move your business forward. This is old thinking. Done right, sales and marketing are investments that can take your company to the next level. Let's explore some ways to make that happen in light of our previous examples of digital marketing assets and liabilities.
In case you missed my previous posts in this series, we've been talking about making your Digital Marketing Department or Agency profitable by treating it like a business. First, we talked about the goals and metrics, then moved into revenues. You can think of this as a pro forma balance sheet, complete with Assets, Liabilities and Equity. In today's post we'll take a look at the Liabilities, the cost side of the ledger.
For many companies, this question boils down to a chicken-egg scenario. Do we need marketing first to generate sales, or do we need sales revenues to justify additional marketing? In either case, how well does our marketing budget align with our business goals and market realities? In speaking to prospective clients, I find many consider marketing as a cost center, not a profit center, and as such it receives a lower priority than product development, infrastructure and sales. In my view, this is a serious mistake for any size company. Let's break this question down into some key components.
Somebody had to bring up the Fiscal Cliff and its impact on marketing in 2013. Might as well be me. Actually, the Fiscal Cliff isn't really a huge problem on paper. We Americans spend too much and save too little. All we have to do is agree how to balance the budget. Of course, the "agree" part is the tough nut. And so it is with marketing. Assuming the economy really is on its way to recovery, how do C-Suiters budget for the rapidly approaching New Year and what slice of the pie do they give to marketing?
If you're a CMO or marketing leader for an enterprise level SaaS (Software as a Service) provider, ISV (Independent Software Vendor), or other mid sized company, and you've decided to get your inbound marketing groove on this year, be sure to review the items and activities below. Maybe you've included many if not all of them, so consider this post a double-check on them. If you have more - let us know that too!
Diagnosing the needs and the associated costs for inbound marketing resources varies greatly depending on goals and strategic techniques.
As marketers continue to move away from from interruption-based marketing many still struggle with how to identify and build a budget for some of the common activities that will be performed to reach their goals