B2B Marketing Blog

How To Align Your Marketing Budget With Your Reporting Dashboard

By Andrew Nguyen
Nov 8, 2017
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Marketing budgets and dashboards are typically managed and operated separately. Budget exercises happen annually and dashboards are put together or updated as needed, such as before a board meeting.

Marketers typically keep separate the management of marketing budget and the management of dashboards. However, these two should be tied closely together. Outcomes in your marketing dashboards should tie directly to the outcomes tied to your marketing budget. After all, getting budget is getting commitment that marketing will reach a pre-defined goal.

In this post we discuss a SiriusDecisions method for creating marketing budgets. We then discuss how to make sure your marketing dashboards speak to the goals you set out to achieve during the budget planning excercise.

Aligning Marketing Budget To Business Goals

The marketing budget is a critical component of marketing plans. It’s the blueprint for how marketing will support the business in hitting corporate goals. Where money gets spent clearly reflects go-to-market strategy and business priorities.

When approaching your budget cycle, begin by understanding the goal(s) for each market. For example, compared to last year, how much does the leadership team want to grow demand and brand awareness in a new market? For mature markets, what’s the target for improved win-rates and sales efficiency? And for large markets, what’s the target demand creation?

Each market may have different goals and the marketing budget should reflect the priority level for each of these market goals. To get your budget planning off to the right start begin gathering information on how business goals have changed, and if they have, define the strategy and create the budget allocation model that reflect this strategy.

In summary, market goals dictate your marketing strategy (and go-to-market approach). Your budget allocations should reflect how these market goals were prioritized by the leadership team and the board--more budget gets allocated to high priority goals.

B2B Marketing Budget Process

As a marketing leader, you understand how fluid and dynamic planning can be. There are many stakeholders, there are market forces, and there are institutional forces that can get in the way of change. Getting a budget aligned with various teams takes time. So it’s helpful to have a broad set of steps for building your budget.

According to SiriusDecisions, after understanding the business goals, split your marketing budget allocation between headcount and marketing programs. Headcount refers to all people costs, such as compensation, benefits, and training. Marketing programs refer to the discretionary marketing budget that will be used to fund all campaigns and everything else that is not tied to any one specific campaign, like creative services and analyst relations.

See the model below by SiriusDecisions:

MktgBudgetAllocation-design-544.jpg

Dividing Campaign Spending Based On Corporate Goals

Next, divide campaign spending across your major campaigns. You have a handful of major campaigns that will help hit your marketing goals. For example you have a campaign to increase demand and brand awareness in a new market. And you have another campaign to increase the demand and sales efficiency in an established market. How much funding each campaign gets is dependent on the goal’s priority level.  If entering a new market is a high priority, the respective campaign gets more budget.

After this step, you’ll need to further divide budget within campaigns to cover industry segments. And finally you need to divide, within each industry, the budget for marketing program types, e.g. demand creation, sales enablement, market intelligence and brand/reputation.

For out-of-campaign spending, for things like conferences, shared services, and communications, further divide out spending for each. To summarize, ensure that the campaign budget is divided between campaigns in a way that is aligned with how market goals are prioritized.

Defining Up Marketing Dashboard Requirements

After creating your budget it’s time to align it to your marketing dashboard. Getting this out of the way during the budget session saves you time when the next planning cycle happens. When the next planning cycle arrives you’ll already have a dashboard setup to report on progress or success in hitting those market goals.

Start creating or editing your existing dashboard, and begin by understanding how the goals have shifted compared to last year and whether there are new goals that should be reported in your dashboard.

A dashboard is typically a set of slides, but if you’re using Bizible, you’ll soon be able to easily create a set of dashboards (one for each market) in a BI platform that pulls in all your marketing data for that market.  

Pull in the appropriate metrics for each market. You can organize and define metrics in the following way:

  • Growth: The number of new logos, opportunities, growth in pipeline, and growth in revenue.

  • Position: Market share and customer loyalty.

  • Efficiency: Win rates, sales enablement activities, and velocity.

  • Readiness: Total number of contacts, total contacts by buyer persona in target market, and performance against SLAs across marketing. This indicates marketing’s readiness to succeed in a new or existing market.

For some markets the win-rate and sales enablement activities are highly important, so indicators for these activities should be pulled into the respective market’s dashboard slide or section.

Now that you’ve mapped your corporate goals and budget to metrics within a dashboard, order the dashboard slides/views based on goal priority or budget allotment (i.e. the dashboard slide tied to high priority goals go first). In addition, you’ll want a high level view of marketing performance as the first slide or dashboard view.

Bringing It All Together With Bizible

With Bizible, you get pipeline and revenue information that is highly accurate and distributed across accounts and opportunities using multi-touch attribution. Bizible measures revenue from both online and offline touchpoints, as well as post-opportunity influence and account-based marketing influence.

With a BI platform you can combine your marketing revenue data from Bizible with other data such as brand/reputation indicators, customer satisfaction (NPS), and more. What was once a time consuming exercise in gathering and putting disparate data sources in one place, will soon be done on a centralized platform.

Budgeting and dashboard building don’t usually happen at the same time. But killing two birds with one stone enables marketing leaders to monitor progress and marketing performance in relation to top-level business goals in real-time.

To download the SiriusDecisions brief on marketing budgets, click the link below.

SiriusDecisions: Strategic Budget Allocation Model  A research brief for marketing leaders. How to create and manage a large  marketing budget.  Download Now

Topics: marketing planning, marketing budgets

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